Minister Lintilä: Nuclear power offers solutions for phasing out fossil energy
“Due to the ongoing war in Ukraine, we are in a historical situation where we have to find energy solutions independent of the imports from Russia. Together with climate change, this poses an enormous challenge. We need to make use of all tools and capabilities to find solutions to these challenges and increase our resilience,” Minister of Economic Affairs Mika Lintilä said in his speech at the opening event of the Nordic Nuclear Forum 2022 in Helsinki on 7 June 2022.
The Nordic Nuclear Forum 2022, which will be held in Helsinki on 7–9 June, is a business event for companies, researchers, organisations and authorities from all over the world to hear about the latest information and insights from the nuclear energy sector.
“Nuclear power plays a key role in clean energy production and Finland’s aim to reach carbon neutrality by 2035. This means that the use of existing power plants must continue, as is the case with Fortum’s application to continue operations of its units in Loviisa, or the construction of new power plants. However, construction projects take a long time from the planning stage to commissioning. TVO’s Olkiluoto 3 project shows that it is worth the wait,” Mika Lintilä said.
“The Finnish public supports the use of nuclear energy. This is important because, as the end user of energy, citizens and society must have a say in energy production,” Lintilä added.
“We must understand the dynamics of long-term investments and take this into account in the regulation of funding for the sector. We cannot be carbon neutral and self-sufficient without nuclear energy in Europe.”
“One widely discussed energy solution of the future is the technology of small modular reactors (SMRs). However, they are not yet in commercial use. One way to prepare for them is to harmonise regulation. The most relevant factors affecting the future of small reactors are the usual, that is safety, economics and regulation,” Lintilä said.
“Nuclear waste management is also a key component of future technologies. For Finland it is very important that nuclear waste management and the decommissioning of facilities are funded and organised in a consistent and timely manner.”
“I will conclude my speech with positive news from Posiva Oy, which is building the world’s first final disposal facility for high-level nuclear waste in Olkiluoto. Posiva applied for its first operating licence at the end of last year. The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment and the Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority have started to process the licence. This is a logical result of decades of research and development work and the responsible long-term planning carried out by Posiva,” Lintilä said.
“Posiva’s plant will be completed in the mid-2020s. We are pleased that Sweden made a similar decision on a nuclear waste storage this year.”
Nina Alatalo, Ministerial Adviser, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, tel. +358 29 504 7171 (Adviser to the Minister of Economic Affairs)
Liisa Heikinheimo, Senior Ministerial Adviser, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, tel. +358 29 504 7035