Mon Feb 25th, 2008 at 06:24:16 AM EST
I am sure you have all heard about the problems and delays at the construction site of Finlands fifth nuclear reactor, a 1600 MW EPR being built by Areva and Siemens which will increase the nuclear generation of Finland by 60 %.
What you probably haven't heard about is the other new reactors.
Diary rescue by Migeru
Almost a year ago TVO and Fortum made it clear that they were planning a sixth reactor at either Olkiluotu (site of the EPR) or at Lovisa, currently hosting two very small Soviet style PWR's. It is not clear at all that the next reactor will be an EPR. Indeed, in the environmental impact report filed by the companies February 15th, the new reactor is described as being either a PWR or a BWR with an output of 1000-1800 MW.
On top of this, last June the new consortium Fennovoima was formed, with a 2/3 ownership be 62 industrial and local energy companies and 1/3 being held by the big multinational power company E.On. This consortium is planning 1-2 new reactors with an output of 1500-2500 MW and a startup date at the latest in 2018. Four different sites are being considered, interestingly all being greenfield sites without any current reactors.
(The HTML is really screwy today, so instead of posting this map in the diary, go check out the link: http://www.nyteknik.se/multimedia/archive/00022/KarnkraftFennovoima_22125a.jpg )
This means that the Finnish nuclear push will add 4100-5900 MW of nuclear power to its grid, an effort that given Finland's size is fully comparable with the monumental French and Swedish programs of the 70's and 80's.
Furthermore, the fact that the new plants are financed primarily by big industrial consumers is another nail in the chest for deregulated power generation, showing that the power markets in general and the possibility to hedge power costs by buying power futures in particular is deeply flawed. It seems the only way to hedge your power costs is by actually owning a physical stake in a low marginal-cost power plant.