Fennovoima has chosen Pyhäjoki as the site for its nuclear power plant. Pyhäjoki municipality is located in North Ostrobothnia and the nuclear power plant will be constructed on Hanhikivi peninsula on the coast of Bothnian Bay.
For the basis of the site selection, assessments were carried out during some four years. In the beginning of Fennovoima project in summer 2007, the company had almost 40 alternative sites. The number of alternatives was decreased gradually based on assessments and in December 2009 Fennovoima ended up having two alternatives, both located in Northern Finland: Pyhäjoki and Simo municipalities.
In the final site decision, safety, technical feasibility, environmental matters, construction costs and schedule were the main factors examined as well as the ability of the site region to support a project that will bring thousands of people to work and use services there. Hundreds of details were assessed within these key factors.
As a result of the assessments, it was concluded that both Simo and Pyhäjoki are feasible for accommodating a nuclear power plant and that the plant can be implemented safely and in an environmentally feasible manner on both sites. The regions of both municipalities are suitable also in respect of their socio-economic structure and regarding the general attitude of the people. The choice was not based on one single factor. Pyhäjoki was selected as the preferred choice on the basis of an overall consideration assessing the site as a whole.
Several technical features in Pyhäjoki were more favorable. Due to technical benefits it is more feasible to construct a nuclear power plant to Pyhäjoki. Assessments show that the bedrock in Pyhäjoki is more solid. This means that operations like excavation works are easier to carry out. In Pyhäjoki, seismic design values are lower than in Simo. This has an impact on the design of the structures, systems and equipment of the plant. The length needed for cooling water tunnels is about one kilometer shorter in Pyhäjoki. In addition to these technical features, Pyhäjoki's benefit is that there are very few permanent residents and summer houses near the power plant site, which means that the construction will cause less disturbance for the neighborhood.
Fennovoima continues now the planning work together with the municipality, authorities and the plant suppliers and prepares applying for various licences and permits. For example, more detailed bedrock, environmental and water studies will be carried out on the Hanhikivi peninsula. Simultaneously, other preparations for the future phases of the project are carried out together with Pyhäjoki and Raahe region.
First preparatory works on Hanhikivi will be started in the end of 2012 at earliest. The construction schedule will be elaborated after the plant supplier has been selected. Fennovoima sent bid invitations for Areva and Toshiba in July 2011 and the plant supplier will be chosen in 2012-2013.
Attachment: Pyhäjoki located on a map of Finland and information about the municipality
For more information:
Tapio Saarenpää, CEO, tel +358 20 757 9209
Tiina Tigerstedt, PR and International Communications Manager, tel +358 20 757 9211
Laura Klefbohm Communications Officer, tel +358 20 757 9219