Fortum's Environmental Impact Assessment report for the third nuclear power plant unit in Loviisa to the Ministry of Employment and the Economy
Today, 3 April 2008, Fortum submitted to the Ministry of Employment and the Economy the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) report for a new, 1,000-1,800 MW nuclear power plant unit (Loviisa 3) to be built on Hästholmen island in Loviisa. The EIA indicates that a new nuclear power plant unit can be built on Hästholmen island. After the Ministry issues its statement, Fortum will make decisions regarding further measures.
The purpose of the Loviisa 3 project is to invest in new, climate-benign power generation in line with Fortum’s strategy. Fortum’s long-term target is to be a carbon dioxide-free power and heat company. Development of nuclear power is essential part of reaching that goal. In 2007, nuclear power accounted for 48% of Fortum’s power generation and renewable energy sources 41%. Altogether 89% of Fortum’s power generation was carbon dioxide-free.
The EIA indicates that the new power plant unit would have a favourable impact on employment in East Uusimaa and South Kymenlaakso and on the economies and commerce of the municipalities.
The assessment examined several alternative intake and discharge locations for the cooling water. The most significant environmental impact identified was the impact of the warm discharge waters on the nearby sea areas. The impacts are related to an extended growing season and increased total volume of aquatic vegetation and plankton, more difficult winter fishing, and winter recreation in the area. The impacts of the different alternatives on water quality, aquatic vegetation, fish population and fishing do not significantly differ from each other. Compared to the current situation, the impact area will be slightly expanded. However, overall the impacts on the Gulf of Finland are insignificant.
As a part of the assessment procedure, a survey was conducted to find out the opinions and views Loviisa area residents have about the project and its impacts. In the survey, 58% of the holiday cottage settlements and 53% of the permanent residents supported the project. Respectively, 25% of the holiday cottage settlements and 26% of the permanent residents opposed the project.
The Ministry of Employment and the Economy will put the EIA report on public display for statements and opinions. After the end of the display period, the Ministry will issue its own statement about the assessment report, and that will conclude the EIA procedure.
If Fortum decides to continue implementing the project, an application for a decision-in-principle concerning the project will be submitted. Implementing the project is subject to a decision-in-principle issued by the Government and ratified by the Parliament. A prerequisite for a favourable decision-in-principle is a favourable statement for the project by the town of Loviisa and by the Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority.
Arvo Vuorenmaa, Vice President, tel. +358 40 3504566
Reko Rantamäki, Project Manager, tel. +358 40 8297587
Peter Tuominen, Development and Communications Manager, tel. +358 50 4524760