Russia loses tender to build nuclear reactor in Finland

Publish date: October 29, 2003

The reactor will most likely be delivered by French-German company Framatome.

A contract has not yet been signed, but power company TVO has announced that it has ended negotiations with the other bidders, or General Electric and Russian company Atomstroyexport, Finnish daily Helsingin Sanomat reported. According to Mauno Paavola, the President and CEO of TVO, financial aspects were decisive in the choice of location and manufacturer. TVO compared the price of electricity production to the costs of the investment. TVO selected the largest reactor from its alternatives. The new reactor, a pressurised water reactor, will have an output of 1,600 megawatts, which is the maximum authorised by Parliament. TVO had budgeted 1.7 – 2.5 billion euros for the purchase of the reactor. Paavola estimated that the total value of the investment would be three billion euros, including nuclear waste management expenses. The bid of GE was reportedly expensive, and the reactor offered by the Russians was smaller in size. Paavola remarked that all bidders were equal in technological and safety issues. Paavola commented that all key issues have already been agreed upon with Framatome, but that in theory it is possible that the manufacturer of the reactor will still change if some disputes should arise.

The Russian nuclear ministry representative said to ITAR-TASS that it was a pity Finland would built reactor, which exists only on paper. Observers close to the negotiations believe the deal has been closed in practice. The purchase will be financed primarily by raising capital in international fixed income markets. The investment is in fact the largest private industrial investment in Finnish history. The new reactor should be in commercial operation by 2009.