ForTheDoers Blog

Extending the lifetime of a nuclear power plant is a major investment programme

29 April 2024, 10:38 EEST

We are committed in our strategy to deliver reliable clean energy. The approximately 20-year lifetime extension of the Loviisa nuclear power plant is at the heart of implementing our strategy. 

The Loviisa nuclear power plant is the first nuclear power plant in Finland; unit one started production in 1977 and unit two in 1980. The power plant’s share of Finland’s electricity production is very significant at about 10 per cent. In 2023, the power plant’s production was 8.09 terawatt-hours. In February 2023, the Finnish Government granted a new operating license for the Loviisa nuclear power plant until 2050. Over the course of the new licence period, the power plant is expected to generate up to 170 terawatt-hours of emission-free electricity. 

Long operating lifetime requires major investments  

Continuation of the power plant’s production is an investment in ensuring that Finnish society continues to receive a stable, carbon-free and secure supply of electricity from Loviisa. At the same time, it is a major investment with a significant positive impact – both economically and in terms of employment. It is estimated that the investments related to the continued operation and the lifetime extension will amount to approximately one billion euros until 2050. 

In the big picture, the investments needed for the lifetime extension are a continuation of the long-term life-cycle management of the plant. The Loviisa power plant is Fortum’s crown jewel that we have systematically developed for more than 40 years. In the last five years alone, we invested about 200 million euros in power plant improvements. Thanks to continuous development and the expertise of our nuclear power professionals, the Loviisa power plant is in good condition. It gives us excellent prerequisites for implementing the major investment programme.  

Implementation of the Long-Term Operation programme has started 

The previous major modernisation programme involving the Loviisa power plant was carried out in 2014-2018 with a total investment of around 500 million euros. At that time, a thorough automation upgrade, among other things, was implemented at the power plant.  

Thanks to the continuous development of the plant and the previous major modernisation programme, we at Fortum are highly competent in managing large projects. The lifetime extension is also a programme that progresses through investment portfolio containing numerous projects. The project packages will involve the replacement of power plant equipment, components and systems as well as upgrades to buildings and infrastructure. The previous automation upgrade will also be continued during the programme, as many of the components currently in operation are reaching the end of their life cycle. The availability and functionality of components and systems must be ensured to the end of the power plant’s lifetime. 

We at Loviisa have some busy years ahead of us, during which we will improve the plant project-by-project and, at the same time, deliver reliable clean energy. Our aim is for the power plant to operate during the new operating licence period just as stably, reliably and safely as it has so far. 

Sasu Valkamo

Senior Vice President
Tel: +358504532232
sasu [dot] valkamo [at] fortum [dot] com