Environmental management

Fennovoima’s environmental management system is developed continuously to correspond to the changing conditions of the construction site. We assess environmental risks and monitor the state of the environment. We have gathered valuable information on previous and prevailing environmental conditions in the area and are able to define corrective measures when needed. Fennovoima supervises environmental actions at the entire construction site.

Our five main objectives of the environmental management are:

Proactively preventing and reducing the environmental impacts of the project.

Ensuring the preservation of the nature reserves and protected species at the Hanhikivi headland and in the nearby Natura 2000 area.

Ensuring that all operation is in compliance with the water and environmental permits.

Securing efficient construction site waste management.

Ensuring good relations with the environmental authorities and other external stakeholders.

Managing environmental impacts

Fennovoima's undertaking for continuous improvement of environmental management relies on training, motivation and leadership, good cooperation with the plant supplier, and effective communication with the environmental authorities and external stakeholders.

In accordance with our principles, all activities at the construction site must be carried out in a safe manner, and relevant environmental management procedures and instructions must be in place and followed. Related to that, Fennovoima is developing its own environmental management system (EMS) for the construction site. The management system sets the requirements for environmental management and provides guidance for the Hanhikivi 1 construction phase. The EMS is an integrated part of the Fennovoima Management System (FMS) and complies with the requirements of the ISO 14001 standard. The target for ISO 14001 certification is set for the end of 2017.

Environmental matters are managed in our organization by the Environment, Health and Safety (EHS) unit, which is part of the Quality department and the Construction unit at the plant site. Our site organization includes appointed persons for the continuous supervision and control of all civil construction works at the plant site.

Allocation of the responsibilities

The plant supplier RAOS Project and all subcontractors working at the project site bear the main responsibility for continuous environmental supervision and fulfilment of environmental requirements primarily within the scope of their own work. The plant supplier is required to supervise the environmental management of subcontractors who perform work within the supplier’s scope of work.

The plant supplier is responsible for all activities and the fulfilment of all related environmental requirements and obligations set by legislation and permits for the plant supplier's scope of work. The plant supplier has to follow the instructions given by Fennovoima.

The plant supplier is responsible for preparing and implementing its own Environmental Management System (EMS) for the construction site activities and applying for any conventional permits needed for its work. The EMS is required to include an Environmental Management Manual and related instructions and to comply with the requirements of the ISO 14001 standard.

Water and environmental permits

The Hanhikivi 1 project requires numerous conventional permits to be applied for. The responsibilities between Fennovoima and the plant supplier regarding applying for conventional permits have been agreed.

Permits pursuant to the Water Act have been granted to Fennovoima in July 2015. Water permits are needed for the water construction work in the harbor area, cooling water intake structure, navigation channel and marine spoil area for dredged material. The granted permits include several permit obligations, which will be taken into consideration during construction.

An environmental permit for the excavation and crushing of rock material was granted to the plant supplier RAOS Project Oy in January 2016. In April 2016, an environmental permit for the concrete batching plant was also granted to RAOS Project. Both permits include obligations to monitor the emissions and discharges of these activities.

An exemption permit was granted to Fennovoima on January 2016. This exemption permit enabled to transfer yellow irises which grew near the Siikalahti nature conservation area shoreline to a new suitable habitat. The transfer of these yellow irises was conducted at the end of April. Fennovoima has also been granted an exemption permit in July 2011, which enables it to destroy a breeding area for moor frogs located near the future harbor area. During the breeding season of the moor frogs in spring 2016, Fennovoima attempted to transfer the moor frogs, but no moor frogs were found. According to the authority, Fennovoima’s efforts to find the moor frogs were sufficient, and Fennovoima was able to proceed with the construction work at the harbor area.  

In June 2016, Fennovoima was granted an environmental permit for the operation of the nuclear power plant and the back-up power production of the plant. The permit also includes the construction of cooling water outlet structures as well as a water permit for the sea water intake and use as cooling water of the nuclear power plant. The environmental permit includes e.g. limits for conventional emissions, and obligations to monitor the environment before and during the operation of the nuclear power plant. Complaints concerning the permit decision are, for the moment, in the handling of the Administrative Court of Vaasa.

During 2017, Fennovoima will submit a chemical permit application to the Finnish Safety and Chemicals Agency TUKES. The permit concerns the handling and storing of chemicals during the operation of the power plant.

Cooperation practices and training

During the year 2016, we focused on developing cooperation practices with all partners and stakeholders at the construction site . Operational practices have been specified and new cooperation groups and other regular meetings have been established to ensure information flow between all levels and each organization.

The development of Environmental Health and Safety training for the sub-supplier supervisors began together with RAOS Project and Titan-2. With the training module, we want to ensure that the set environmental requirements are considered carefully at the plant site.

Communicating environmental matters

In connection with the EIA procedure of the final disposal of spent nuclear fuel, MEAE and Fennovoima arranged public events in Pyhäjoki and Eurajoki in September 2016. These events provide the public an opportunity to express their views regarding the assessment of environmental impacts, get information and discuss the EIA procedure with Fennovoima, the Ministry and the experts who have been involved in the drafting of the EIA program.

In addition, Fennovoima arranged a theme evening about final disposal of the spent nuclear fuel for the residents of Pyhäjoki later in the autumn. Information about the progress of the construction work is provided on Fennovoima’s webpage. The commencement of the dredging work was also made public with ads in local newspapers.

environmental management  
Risk assessment made to each construction work potentially causing environmental impacts 100 % of risk assessments were made. Contractors are required to make a risk assessment before starting the construction work.
Number of environmental observations per year 127 environmental observations, (exceeds the target > 50 observations/year).
Environmental training  100 % of contractors and sub-contractors received environmental training before the commencement of work.
Compliance with environmental and water permits No reported non-compliances.


Environmental Impact Assessments

The environmental impact assessment (EIA) procedure is based on the Council Directive on the assessment of the impacts of certain public and private projects on the environment (85/337/EEC), which has been enforced in Finland through the EIA Act (Act on Environmental Impact Assessment Procedure (468/1994)) and the EIA Decree (Decree on Environmental Impact Assessment Procedure (713/2006)).

The objective of the EIA procedure is to improve the environmental impact assessments, ensure that environmental impacts are consistently taken into account in planning and decision-making, and increase the availability of information to citizens and the possibility for them to participate in the planning of projects. The EIA procedure does not involve any project-related decisions or solve any issues pertaining to permits or licenses.

YEAR Environmental Impact assessmentS LOCAtion
2007-2008 EIA procedure for the construction and operation of a nuclear power plant of appr. 1,500-2,500 megawatts Pyhäjoki, Ruotsinpyhtää and Simo
2013-2014 EIA procedure for the construction and operation of a nuclear power plant of approximately 1,200 megawatts Hanhikivi headland, Pyhäjoki
2015-2016 EIA procedure for the power transmission lines (400 kV and 110 kV) in cooperation with Fingrid Oyj. In connection with the EIA procedure, an update to the Natura 2000 assessment was conducted.

Pyhäjoki, Raahe, Kalajoki and Merijärvi

2016 EIA program for spent nuclear fuel encapsulation plant and final disposal facility Eurajoki and Pyhäjoki