The operation of a nuclear power plant is subject to a licenses and permits, and it is governed by the authorities. The Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority (STUK) supervises nuclear and radiation safety.
The competent environmental permit authority is the Southern Finland Regional State Administrative Agency, and the supervising authority is the Southwest Finland Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment. Other authorities involved in the management of environmental issues include the environmental department of the municipality of Eurajoki and the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, which acts as TVO’s liaison authority in EIA procedures.
Radiation monitoring samples taken from the Olkiluoto environment are submitted to STUK for analysis. TVO annually prepares a report on the waste and emissions caused by its operations and submits the report to several regional and national authorities. TVO annually reports its environmental investments and environmental protection activity costs to Statistics Finland. After verification, TVO reports the annual carbon dioxide emissions of the emergency diesel generators and reserve boilers to the Energy Authority. Finnish Safety and Chemicals Agency (Tukes) acts as the supervising authority for the industrial processing and storage of hazardous chemicals. In the autumn of 2015, Tukes performed a periodic inspection.
Nine special events in 2018
The Olkiluoto nuclear power plant units, OL1 and OL2, operated safely throughout the year. TVO classifies events affecting nuclear safety in accordance with the international INES scale (0–7). In 2018, the Olkiluoto nuclear power plant had nine INES classified issues, of which eight incidents classified as level 0 (No safety significance) and 1 (Anomaly, exceptional incident with safety effects).
In case of special situations and operational disruptions, the Company submits separate, incident-specific reports to the Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority of Finland (STUK) with plan of corrective measures. TVO publishes information on every significant event with public interest on the company website in the News section.
Events taking place at other nuclear power plants around the world are continuously monitored in TVO. Necessary changes will be implemented based on the assessments to further develop the operation.
Permits govern the activities
In addition to legislation pertaining to nuclear energy and radiation safety, the operation is also regulated by the requirements laid down in environmental laws. The permit referred to in the Environmental protection Act is required for the operation of the Olkiluoto nuclear power plant, and the permit referred to in the Water Act for the intake of cooling water. The Regional State Administrative Agency for Southern Finland issued on 16 December 2016 a decision on the adjustment of the permit regulations of the environmental permit and on the adjustment of the permit regulations of the water permit granted to the Olkiluoto nuclear power plant. The decisions became valid in July 2018.
The environmental and water permit decisions cover power plant operations and its back-up energy production systems. The permit conditions control the nuclear power plant's cooling water volume and the amount of heat contained in it, wastewater treatment efficiency, processing of waste, operations in transient and abnormal conditions, as well as monitoring and reporting. The Olkiluoto nuclear power plant landfill has its own environmental permit. The environmental permit for crushing and storage of blasted stone by TVO and Posiva was updated in 2018. The licences referred to in the Chemicals Act have been granted for the handling and storage of hazardous chemicals.
The reserve boilers of the Olkiluoto nuclear power plant, as well as the emergency diesel generators of OL1, OL2, and OL3 (a total of 15 generators), are included within the scope of the emissions trading system. Pursuant to the Finnish Emissions Trading Act, TVO submits an annual verified emissions report and the verifier’s statement to the emissions trading authority.
Compliance with environmental legislation
TVO continuously monitors statutory regulations and other requirements pertaining to its operations. People in charge of different parts of the operations are in charge of ensuring that the organizations receive enough up-to-date information about statutory regulations and their impact on TVO’s operations. Compliance with the regulations and requirements is regularly assessed in internal and external audits as well as management reviews. In 2018, operations were in compliance with environmental legislation and permits.