12.10.2006 Lauri Myllyvirta
Delay of Olkiluoto nuclear power plant due to problems with safety and quality is set to cost the Finnish taxpayers serious money, if the Finnish government has its way. The Trade and Industry Ministry has, without any notification to the public or parliament, increased the proposed allocation of CO2 emission credits to industry and utilities by almost EUR300 million because of the delay.
Greenpeace media advisory, Oct 12 2006
– Finnish energy companies managed to slip from all other action to reduce emissions by promising that the Kyoto target would be reached by building the reactor. Now that the plan failed as expected, what would you expect the Finnish government to do? Allocate more emission credits so that dirty coal plants can be kept running. And the cost is borne by the taxpayers, Greenpeace Energy Campaigner Lauri Myllyvirta said.
In the national energy and climate strategy (1), the new nuclear power plant was expected to be online in 2009. The proposed free allocation of emission rights was 184 million tons over 2008 – 2012.
In the national allocation plan (NAP) sent to the European Commission yesterday, the amount of emission credits had however been lifted to 198 million tons and the nuclear power plant is expected to be fully operational in 2011 only. In addition to being granted tons of free emissions as a compensation for their failure to reduce emissions, TVO can, according to the turn key contract, double charge the costs of the delay from the plant supplier Areva.
– During the debate over the fifth nuclear power plant, fulfilling Finland’s Kyoto taret was claimed to be EUR200-600 million more expensive without nuclear power. This amount of money has already been wasted on the problems of this project. The supplier Areva has run into financial trouble because of the project and even the Finnish energy companies are becoming more reserved towards new nuclear power plants. The nuclear power plant project is turning out to be expensive and unreliable, just as the environmental NGOs warned, Greenpeace Vice Programme Director Harri Lammi summarized.
TVO has admitted that the project is already one year behind schedule. The Finnish Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority’s assessment was embarrassing and terrifying: orders and standards issued by Finnish authorities have been violated and Finnish officials have been lied to for months about safety deficiencies. Outdated and illegal methods have been used in construction and many subcontractors have been incompetent. Altogether the unresolved safety non-conformances amounted to 700 and possibly all of them would not be detected at all.
1. Finnish Cabinet Nov 24 2005: Kansallinen energia- ja ilmastostrategia.
2. Finnish Cabinet Sep 29 2006: Finnish National Allocation Plan.
3. STUK Investigation report