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Source: International Atomic Energy Agency – IAEA

IAEA Director General Grossi visits the Olkiluoto nuclear power plant in Finland, 26 November 2020. (Photo: TVO/Tapani Karjanlahti)

“The role of low-carbon energy, such as renewable energy and nuclear power, is crucial in the battle against climate change,” Mr Tanhua said after the meeting. “Nuclear power remains a significant part of Finland’s and the entire EU’s energy mix as we move towards a carbon neutral society. Nuclear power acts as a constant energy source, which supports stable electricity production beside volatile water, wind, and solar power.”

Over 80% of the electricity produced in Finland is non-polluting, and the figure will rise with the beginning of regular electricity production at the Olkiluoto 3 plant unit, scheduled to be connected to the grid in 2021 and begin regular production in 2022, Mr Tanhua added. “Olkiluoto 3 is important for Finland’s electricity supply security, as well as significant for the entire European nuclear industry.”

Mr Tanhua said TVO will be glad to share their solution for final disposal of spent fuel with industry players and regulators around the world. “The rising walls of the encapsulation plant and the final disposal facilities being completed at Onkalo are concrete examples of this: we do have a solution.”

One third of Finland’s electricity comes from nuclear, and this proportion is expected to rise to up to over 40% by 2022, with the new reactor unit in operation. The country’s two operating nuclear power plants located on the Baltic Sea coast are among the world’s most productive, according to the World Nuclear Association.

“Nuclear is an important topic in Finland, and that is why we take nuclear waste management as a top priority,” said Liisa Heikinheimo, who is responsible for nuclear energy as Deputy Director General of the Energy Department at the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment.

“We need the IAEA to ensure international cooperation in this field, and we also need to share our experience and knowledge through the IAEA,” she said. “Every country needs to think of nuclear waste management, and not just those with nuclear power plants; nuclear activities in industrial or medical uses also generate waste.”

Today is the second day of Mr Grossi’s two-day official visit to Finland, where he also held discussions with President Sauli Niinistö and several ministers.

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