Construction License and Application Process
Fennovoima submitted a construction license application to the Finnish Government in summer 2015. The application gives a general description of the selected site, the plant type, the most important safety systems, and the Fennovoima organization. Now Fennovoima is submitting to the Finnish Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority (STUK) in stages far more extensive and specific documents to demonstrate the readiness to build a nuclear power plant as required by the legislation.
A good reference proejct for the work on the Hanhikivi 1 nuclear power plant unit is Leningradskaya 2, the second plant of the Leningrad Nuclear Power Plant in the town of Sosnovy Bor in Russia which will be ready for operation in 2018. The design documentation cannot be used as such, however; instead, the plant and the documentation for Hanhikivi 1 must be adapted to comply with the Finnish statutory regulations. Fennovoima is obligated to ensure that requirements are fulfilled.
The application process of the construction license is interaction between experts, and only documents on which Fennovoima and its plant supplier or the plant supplier’s subcontractor have reached an understanding will be submitted to STUK. Even though the goal in this work is perfection, it is common for the authority to make remarks in its statement: it is the duty of the authority as an expert in its field. The improvements required based on these remarks will be implemented without delay or at a later stage.
STUK's role in the construction license process is fundamental: based on the submitted documents, STUK will prepare a safety assessment concerning the technology, safety, the site, and the organization. A positive statement is a prerequisite for the construction license. Furthermore, the Government will get statements from other authorities and stakeholders. No deadline for the granting of the construction license has been determined; instead, the license will be granted once everything is on the level required by the license.
According to the current schedule, we expect to receive the construction license in 2018. The year 2017 is a very important year in terms of the design work, and the parties must make major improvements from last year. We are making concerted efforts on this. While we aim to abide by this schedule, the design work requires pinpoint accuracy and it will take the time it needs. This is to ensure that - as result - we will have a nuclear power plant of a high quality.