Environmental impact assessment report for Loviisa nuclear power plant 

On 14 January 2022, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment released its reasoned conclusion on the environmental impact assessment report of Fortum Power and Heat Oy’s nuclear power plant in Loviisa.

In the reasoned conclusion, 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 on it, and the coordinating authority’s own evaluation.

The report 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. These alternatives affect the operating period of the final disposal facility for low-level and intermediate-level nuclear waste. The project was also subject to the transboundary environmental impact assessment specified in the so-called Espoo Convention.

In its reasoned 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. 

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. The most significant effect of the nuclear power plant during normal operation is the thermal load of cooling water in the nearby sea area. However, the assessment of environmental impacts of the alternatives must take into account the project's energy-economic significance, which is high nationally. 

Fortum submitted the EIA report to the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment in September 2021. Submission of the EIA report follows the procedure that was started in August 2020, when the company submitted an environmental impact assessment programme to the Ministry. During both stages, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment organised a public consultation. The statements and opinions, which were submitted, are available on the Ministry’s Finnish website.

Further information: jaakko.louvanto(at)gov.fi and linda.kumpula(at)gov.fi