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Finland looks to Russia to help supply nuke project

YLE NewsEye on the Arctic

At 6.4 billion euros, the estimated price tag exceeds that of Microsoft’s purchase of Nokia’s handset business.

The Finnish power group Fennovoima has selected the Russian state nuclear company Rosatom to build its nuclear reactor in Pyhäjoki, northern Finland.

Fennovoima said on Tuesday that it will propose to its shareholders that a deal with Rosatom be signed by the end of this year, with the Russian firm taking a 34 percent stake in the project.

Last month the Finnish Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority (STUK) warned that Rosatom’s AES-2006 pressurized water reactor would need upgrades to meet Finnish safety standards. The company has also yet to specify where it will store spent fuel rods from the facility, as required by Finnish law.

Operational in 2024?

The Fennovoima consortium is made up of some 60 Finnish companies, including the nation’s biggest electricity user, steelmaker Outokumpu. The shareholders are to decide by the end of October whether to move ahead with the project.

Yle has learned that the project has an estimated price tag of 6.4 billion euros. That, incidentally, exceeds the sum in Tuesday’s other main Finnish business story, Microsoft’s takeover of Nokia’s handset business for 5.4 billion euros.

The AES-2006 reactor would begin producing electricity in 2024.

This story is posted on Alaska Dispatch as part of Eye on the Arctic, a collaborative partnership between public and private circumpolar media organizations.