Fennovoima, a Finnish consortium of energy and industrial company, has applied for a permit to build a nuclear power plant in Pyhäjoki, North Ostrobothnia. (Markku Ulander – Lehtikuva)


THE MINISTRY of Defence has called for an analysis of the risks associated with the nuclear power project undertaken by Fennovoima, a consortium of energy and industrial companies in Finland.

STT on Saturday reported that the ministry has requested that the analysis take into account the geopolitical risks associated with the project and the role of Rosatom, the Russian state-owned energy company with a minority stake in the project, in the security policy goals of Russia.

Rosatom owns 34 per cent of shares in the consortium through its subsidiary, RAOS Voima.

“Carrying out risk analyses such as this has become slightly more common. We’re seeing more clearly than before that one could be warranted in this circumstance,” Sara Kajander, the head of the environment and real estate unit at the Ministry of Defence, stated to STT.

The analysis, she added, would be carried out by a working group consisting of several experts and officials.

Kajander declined to comment on what type of requirements could be imposed on the project based on the findings or whether the analysis could threaten the future of the project. It is the analysis, she explained, that should shed light on the question, along with the question of what types of risks arise from the ties to Russia.

“Also they should be examined in the risk analysis. If it was clear from our viewpoint, we would’ve drawn attention to it in our statement.”

The proposal for the risk analysis is made in a statement issued to the Ministry of Employment and the Economy in September, in response to updates made to the building permit application of Fennovoima. The application had to be updated because the project has moved forward on several fronts since the filing of the original application years ago.

The Ministry of Defence in its statement also drew attention to the economic and geopolitical associated with the project and pleaded that fuel for the plant is not procured exclusively from Russia. Kajander denied, however, that the ministry has adopted a stricter position on the plant project.

“We’ve brought up these issues earlier, too. We’ve now described them in greater detail. We’ve felt that our previous statement has been ignored,” she said.

Aleksi Teivainen – HT