With Nuclear, Finland Strives To Hit Carbon Emissions Goals

With no plans to retreat from nuclear power, the Finish government said last week that it was on the way to becoming the world’s first “fossil-free prosperous society,” reaffirming its climate change targets.

Olkiluoto 3The government targets 2035 as the year it will become carbon neutral. But Finland is aiming to do better than that, putting its society into a negative carbon footprint in future years.

The country has already reduced its carbon output 21 percent from 1990, the benchmark used in the Paris accord. According to Nuclear Engineering International, Finland will hit the 2020 goals on carbon emission reductions ahead of schedule.

“Electrification of society and the integration of various energy systems (for electricity, heat and transport) requires a significant increase in renewable energy production,” said the document called Inclusive and competent Finland: A socially, economically and ecologically sustainable society.

Finland has four nuclear reactors that currently produce about 30 percent of the country’s electricity needs. A fifth reactor, at the Olkiluoto site, is a 1,600 MWe European Pressurized Reactor that is expected to go online in 2020. A reactor of Russian design – a VVER-1200 unit—is also planned for the new Hanhikivi site in Northern Finland.

Already operating are Olkiluoto Units 1 and 2, two boiling water reactors with a combined output of 1,720 MWe. The Loviisa plant on the south coast includes two Russian-built pressurized water reactors, owned by Fortum, which began operations in 1977 and 1980, respectively.

The Olkiluoto Units went online in 1978 and 1980, respectively.

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