Thursday, July 1, 2010

Two new reactors

Finnish Parliament gave today approval for construction of two new commercial nuclear reactors. One new reactor will be built by energy company Teollisuuden Voima (TVO) in Olkiluoto. Fortum owns 26,6% of TVO. Therefore, as long time supporter of nuclear power and shareholder of Fortum, I am naturally happy about the decision.

TVO has two existing reactors in operation, one 1600MW reactor (TVO3) being built and one more in the planning pipeline (TVO4). The fourth reactor is likely also in the range of 1600MW meaning that both new reactors will be each equivalent to 2-3 currently operating reactors. Fortums's share of each new TVO 1600MW plant is roughly 425 MW. In comparison, Fortum's fully owned reactors in Loviisa are producing 488 MW each.

Picture: Picture. Fortum’s Loviisa nuclear power plants from air. Source: Wikipedia.

The other reactor will be built by Fennovoima in either Simo or Pyhäjoki in northern Finland. Behind Fennovoima are various Finnish entities with 66% stake and the world’s largest privately owned energy company E.ON from Germany with 34% stake.

Fortum applied, but did not get preliminary green light for third reactor to Loviisa. It remains to be seen when and if it gets go ahead for that. The Loviisa plants are quite old (built in early 1970s) so eventually they need to be replaced.

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