Finns' attitudes toward nuclear power have become increasingly positive. An overwhelming majority of locals now support the Hanhikivi-1 project, which is aimed to build an NPP equipped with a Russian-made reactor in northern Finland, according to a press-release by the construction company Fennovoima, which is partly owned by Russia's Rosatom.
According to the recent survey carried out by pollster Norsat, an astonishing 75 percent of the residents of Pyhäjoki, the intended site for the NPP, are supportive of the construction plans. Last year alone, the support in the whole region has jumped 9.9 percent, which came as a positive surprise to regional communications manager Heli Haikola.
"The result does not only indicate that the project's impact, but also proves that we have done the right thing and should continue in the same manner," Haikola said in the press-release.
At present, most of the personnel working at the Hanhikivi 1 construction site hail from either Pyhäjoki itself or its vicinity. According to Fennovoima, the economic boost from the NPP has been already made visible, as new residential areas are planned alongside other urban development projects both in the planning phase and under constructions.
Nationwide, Finns' views on nuclear power and the construction of additional nuclear power are also changing in a positive direction. A total of 45 percent of Finns believe that nuclear power is an environmentally friendly way of generating electricity, while 30 of the respondents held the opposite view.
Finns' attitude to additional construction of NPPs has also become clearly more positive, even though opinions are still strongly divided (37 percent in favor, with 29 percent opposed, as of December 2017, with the result being reversed only a year earlier).
Finland is no stranger to collaborating with Russia in terms of nuclear energy. At present, Finland has two NPPs in action having, with two reactors apiece — the Soviet-built Loviisa NPP and the Swedish-built Olkiluoto NPP. The Hanhikivi-1 NPP, which is to house one Russian-designed VVER-1200 PWR reactor, is intended to supply 10 percent of Finland's entire energy demand.
2017 was a record production year for #LoviisaNPP! It generated a total of 8.16 TWh #CO2free #electricity with high efficiency and load factor of 92.7%! LO1 celebrated 40 yrs of operation with highest production in LoviisaNPP history! Read more: https://t.co/RC39VMfMUX #nuclear pic.twitter.com/h69xwRYL7a— Fortum Nuclear (@FortumNuclear) January 3, 2018
Russia is also an important exporter of nuclear fuel to the Nordic country.
Fennovoima is owned by Finnish Voimaosakeyhtiö SF (66 percent) and Rosatom's subsidiary RAOS Voima Oy (34 percent).