Ivo Kouklik: Nuclear Power as a Passion

Nuclear power is practically a way of living for Ivo Kouklik, 58. Here he tells his story from how the construction of Dukovany nuclear power plant next to his home town Trebic in Czech brought him into this field and how he finally ended up working at Fennovoima.

I have a long experience in nuclear power plants. Somehow almost my whole life is connected to nuclear power, ever since I was a student. I was born in Czech in 1959, and as a student I planned to be a pilot. The plans were, however, changed when the construction of the first unit of Dukovany nuclear power plant (NPP) started close to my hometown Trebic. This was a sign for me to study nuclear engineering at Prague Technical University.

All in all I have over 30 years of first-hand experience in nuclear power and pressurized water reactors in the areas of commissioning, operation, licensing, modification, engineering and managing new build nuclear projects. Through many positions within NPP I have managed to gain broad technological knowledge on nuclear technologies and nuclear safety. At Dukovany NPP, I started in control room during commissioning and later normal operation. Afterwards I became responsible for operational support of 4 units, and later on I moved into several positions related to the safety, engineering and investment. I finished my Dukovany carrier as Station Director. I had the opportunity to participate in International Atomic Energy Agency (part of United Nation) as expert in different fields like safety culture, OSART missions.

Also I used to work at CEZ utility headquarter, board of the Slovak company JESS (NPP new build, equivalent of Fennovoima) and Rosatom before joining Fennovoima in 2014. My first contact with Fennovoima was being at the Rosatom’s side of the table during EPC contract negotiations. Working as the Director of projects and the Vice President of Rusatom Overseas, I was responsible for developing nuclear new build projects in six countries on behalf of Rosatom: Czech, Jordan, Finland, Slovakia, Hungary, South Africa (isotope reactor).

I am now Nuclear Island Director and I have 20 people working for me from 10 different nationalities. I consider as privilege to recruit the people myself and to build team according to the project needs. We have an excellent mixture of youth and senior people in my team and they all have the required professional capabilities, experience and personality. It doesn’t help if you are a top expert but difficult to work with – or a nice person without the know-how and experience.

I guess the reason for succeeding in my career is based on respect to the people experience and opinions, on other hand I am not afraid to take responsibility and make the decisions. While I have know-how in the nuclear power plant technology, I never forget that this is not a solo play, but a team work.

I am glad for my decision to come to Finland. Fennovoima’s project is dynamic, interesting and demanding, and since there are not that many NPP projects in the world, I believe this is the best possible place for a nuclear specialist. The place is fit for a person who is not afraid for changing circumstances and is willing to work hard. Checking out our open positions. It is definitely worth the while.

Ivo Kouklik

Education: Nuclear Engineer; MBA

Current title: Nuclear Island Director, Fennovoima

Hobbies: Travelling, trekking in high mountains, Sport – running, skiing, football, Building model aircraft

Favorite motto: “Obstacles are in the life for us to overcome them.”