Finland axes nuclear plant cooperation with Russia
Finnish energy company Fennovoima said it is terminating the Hanhikivi 1 project that would have seen a nuclear plant constructed in Pyhäjoki on the western Hanhikivi Peninsula in cooperation with Russian nuclear energy giant Rosatom, Yle reports.
Fennovoima's decision means that all cooperation with Russia, including planning and licensing, will be terminated in connection with the Hanhikivi 1 project. The company's announcement reads that the war in Ukraine has exacerbated the risks of the project.
In a statement on Monday, Fennovoima CEO Joachim Specht said that the termination of the contract would have "a significant employee impact" for Fennovoima, its supply chain companies and the Pyhäjoki region. It may also spawn costly, complex lawsuits.
The Hanhikivi 1 plant in Pyhäjoki, Northern Ostrobothnia, would have been Finland's third nuclear power plant, and its first entirely new one since the 1970s.
Minister of Economic Affairs Mika Lintilä (Cen) in effect suspended the project, telling the Eduskunta on February 25 that he would not present Fennovoima's construction permit application to the government. Fennovoima's building permit has been pending at the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment since mid-2015.
Rosatom said it is "extremely disappointed" in Fennovoima's decision.
The Russian energy giant asserted that the cancellation was made "without any detailed consultation with the project's shareholders." Rosatom subsidiary RAOS Voima is the largest shareholder, with a 34 percent stake.
It remains unclear whether the Finnish or Russian parties to the project will demand compensation for cancelling the project.
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Editor: Marcus Turovski