Fennovoima shrinking

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The Fennovoima nuclear plant project is in trouble, as 15 more shareholders leave. Some left completely, some partially. But the surprise to all was a few big industrial shareholders. Today, the situation is: only 50,28% of the shares are owned by Finnish owners. The rest is for sale.

After E.On's pullout, Fennovoima changed the reactor supplier: Rosatom offers a 1,200 MW reactor. This is 25% smaller than the original plan (1,600 MW). Rosatom plans to buy the shares originally owned by E.On, this is 34%. Since E.On's departure in 2012, there are now additional 16% shares for sale, but no buyers yet.

The Finnish parliament gave permission to this project in 2010. Original plan was 1,600 MW unit supplied by Areva or Toshiba. Rosatom was not mentioned in this permit, and the reactor was not included in the environmental assessment. A new EIA is needed, including an international EIA. The international EIA is not mentioned on the official website, the list is in Finnish and it's obsolete (last update: 2009)! All countries around the Baltic Sea should be involved in the EIA process.

So far, at least 20 Swedish organizations have made statements against the plant, less than 150 km from Swedish border.

The last nail on the Fennovoima coffin might be the Talvivaara mining company. It operates the only uranium-producing mine in the EU-area, and has repeatedly spilled toxic wastewater into the nearby lakes and rivers. The bio-leaching process seems to have failed completely during the cold winters, and the price of their main product seems to stay at low leveles. After 5 years of losses, it seems the company seeks for restructuring. Another solution might be bankruptcy.

Talvivaara owns 5% of Fennovoima. If it goes bankrupt, these shares will be for sale as well. Still no buyers? It seems the most important criteria in the parliamentary process, "the benefit of society" is no more valid for this project: Less than 50% (or less than 30% of the original planned production) to the Finnish market, 100% of nuclear waste stays here forever.

Matti Adolfsen