Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment submits informed conclusion on EIA report of Loviisa nuclear power plant
On 14 January 2022, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment released its informed conclusion on the environmental impact assessment report of Fortum Power and Heat Oy’s nuclear power plant in Loviisa. In the conclusion, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, as the coordinating authority, states its view on the significant environmental impacts of the project. The conclusion is based on the environmental impact assessment (EIA) report, statements and opinions issued, and the Ministry’s own evaluation.
The EIA procedure assessed the impact of continuing the operation of the Loviisa nuclear power plant by a maximum of 20 years, or alternatively, decommissioning the plant when the current operating licences expire. The valid operating licences for the Loviisa 1 and Loviisa 2 units and the buildings necessary for the management of nuclear fuel and nuclear waste will expire in 2027 and 2030.
In addition to the national EIA procedure, the project was also subject to the transboundary environmental impact assessment specified in the so-called Espoo Convention.
After the EIA procedure, the company will decide whether to apply for new operating licences for the power plant units or whether to decommission them.
Report meets the requirements of EIA legislation and compares alternatives sufficiently
In its informed conclusion, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment states that the assessment report meets the requirements of EIA legislation. The alternatives examined were not found to have such significant adverse environmental impacts that could not be accepted, prevented or mitigated to an acceptable level. The most significant effect of the nuclear power plant during normal operation is the thermal load of cooling water in the nearby sea area.
According to the Ministry, the report compares the different alternatives to a sufficient degree. As a whole, the environmental impacts of continuing the use of the plant are greater than those of decommissioning alone, as in the case of continued use, the plant must eventually be decommissioned anyway.
However, the assessment of environmental impacts of the alternatives must also take into account the project’s energy-economic significance, which is high nationally.
The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment will announce its informed conclusion by public notice. The Ministry will submit the informed conclusion to the party responsible for the project, the relevant authorities and all those who have received a request for an statement. The conclusion will also be submitted to the Ministry of the Environment, which in turn will forward it to the other countries participating in the Espoo Covention procedure.
The informed conclusion, the EIA report and the statements and opinions received during the consultation period have been published on the website of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment at www.tem.fi/loviisan-yva-selostus
Jaakko Louvanto, Senior Specialist, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, tel. +358 50 444 9763 and jaakko.louvanto(at)gov.fi
Linda Kumpula, Senior Specialist, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, tel. +358 50 412 4425 and linda.kumpula(at)gov.fi