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Environmental Impact Assessment - objective and content. Finnish Experience on the Licensing of NPP’s VN/RA/01 Task 1 and 2 Workshop October 2012 Confidential Ilari Aro STUK. What is siting.

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environmental impact assessment objective and content

Environmental Impact Assessment - objective and content

Finnish Experience on the Licensing of NPP’s

VN/RA/01 Task 1 and 2 Workshop

October 2012


Ilari Aro


what is siting
What is siting
  • Siting is the process of selecting a suitable site for a facility, including appropriate assessment and definition of the related design bases. (IAEA Safety Guide NS-R-3, 2003)
  • Existing sites
    • site characterization is updated for new units
    • site related design requirements are determined according to current regulatory requirements
  • New sites
    • an extensive siting process
  • Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is part of the siting process
    • role of EIA depends on national legislation
relevant legislation and conventions
Relevant legislation and conventions
  • NPP siting is covered by several fields of legislation, e.g.
    • nuclear
    • environmental
    • land use and building
  • International regulations and treaties are implemented in national legislation
    • IAEA regulations and IAEA sponsored conventions
    • Espoo convention 1991
      • Convention on Environmental Impact Assessment in a Transboundary Context (UNECE, United Nations Economic Commission for Europe)
      • International hearing processes may be quite extensive
    • Aarhus Convention 1998 (UNECE)
      • Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters
    • marine protection conventions (OSPAR, HELCOM)
  • EU directives in the European Union
    • EIA Directive (85/337/EEC, 97/11/EC )
    • environmental directives (biodiversity, birdlife)
      • Natura 2000 network of natural reserves
      • sometimes extensive clarifications are required
environmental impact assessment wider view
Environmental Impact Assessment (wider view)
  • EIA is done for all large industrial and infrastructure projects
  • In the European Union the general requirements are set forth in the Council Directive
  • The Directive is implemented in national legislation
    • EIA Act and EIA Decree
  • Goals of EIA
    • promote assessment of environmental impacts and their uniform consideration in planning and decision making
    • improve citizens’ access to information and possibilities to participate
  • EIA report is used as background information in, e.g.,
    • decision making according to the Nuclear Energy Act
    • land use planning
  • Siting
    • Some factors have technical, economical, environmental and safety aspects
      • grid connections, cooling water supply, fresh (process) water supply
    • Site effects in plant design
      • site characterization
      • design bases for external events
    • Emergency planning issues
      • radiation safety
      • protection / evacuation
    • Interaction with land use planning
  • Environmental impact assessment (EIA)
    • Legal basis
    • Contents
    • Emphasis on new projects

Nuclear power plants in Finland

  • Olkiluoto NPP (TVO)
  • 2 operating units - ABB BWRs
  • New EPR under construction
  • EIA completed for a new unit
  • Loviisa NPP (Fortum)
  • 2 operating units - VVERs
  • EIA completed for a new unit
  • Fennovoima Ltd
  • EIA completed for a plant with 1 or 2 units on three sites

Licensing is divided in two stages: political decision and safety demonstration

  • Political decisionon a new nuclear power plant is needed as a precondition before major investments are permitted.
  • Political decision is called Decision in Principle (DiP). It concludes whether
  • “a new NPP is in line with the overall good of society”.
    • Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) has to be completed first for each alternative site
    • EIA report has to be annexed to the application for the DiP.
    • Plant vendor and design are not chosen before the DiP, but main safety features of several alternatives are evaluated during the DiP process.
licensing steps in finland
Licensing Steps in Finland
  • Operating license
  • Government Decision
  • STUK’s safety assessment on the technical and organisational aspects of the as build plant

Operating License

  • Construction License
  • Government Decision
  • STUK’s Safety assessment on the acceptability of Technical principles and requirements of the plant
  • Issued in February 2005 for Olkiluoto 3


Construction License

  • Construction:
  • Review and approval of the detailed design
  • Oversight of manufacturing and construction

Bidding & site preparation

Nuclear safety

Energy policy

Decision in Principle

  • New NPP’s scheduled on spring 2010

Feasibility studies

(by utility)

  • Decision in Principle: Political debate on whether using nuclear energy is for the overall good of society
  • Government decision and Parliament ratification/rejection
  • STUK’s preliminary safety assessment
  • Issued in May 2002 for Olkiluoto 3

Environmental Impact


  • New NPP’s FS started on June 2007

Authorities involved in NPP licensing and regulation in Finland

  • Licenses for nuclear facilities in Finland are issued by the Government
  • Ministry of Employment and the Economy (TEM) provides administrative support for processing license applications
  • STUK is the regulatory body dedicated to safety oversight:
  • preparation of national nuclear safety regulations
  • safety evaluation (necessary prerequisite for issuing a license)
  • inspections needed to verify the safety state of the facility and the compliance with license conditions over the plant lifetime
  • inspections on nuclear waste management and nuclear material safeguards

Main contacts between STUK and Ministries

  • administrative authority
  • for the use of radiation


- administrative authority for the use

of nuclear energy

Budget and supervision

  • independent regulatory and research
  • organisation

Expert advice

and service

  • rescue and protection duties in
  • emergency conditions
  • - security and physical protection


- nuclear safety in neighbour countries

- non-proliferation of nuclear weapons


Stakeholders in Licensing of nuclear facilities

Public, other authorities,

and expert organizations


Confirms Decision in Principle

  • Three step licensing:
  • Decision in Principle
  • Construction Permit
  • Operating License


Makes licensing decisions

Ministry of Employment

and the Economy:

Conducts preparations


Statement on safety


Agreement on site


(regulatory body)





review and



Design documents

Expert organizations


nuclear industry


Three licensing steps

  • Decision in Principle (DiP): main emphasis in energy policy
    • process involves both public hearings and Parliament hearings
    • Environmental Impact Assessment and siting have important role
    • DiPopens the way for implementation: licensee can start tendering process.
  • Construction License (CL): main emphasis in nuclear safety
    • main design features are assessed and fixed at this stage
    • At receiving application for Olkiluoto 3 CL, Government committed to issue
    • license as soon as STUK (regulatory body) had found readiness for safe
    • implementation.
  • Operating License (OL): main emphasis in nuclear safety
    • OL is granted after STUK has verified that the plant has been built according to the approved plans, its safety has been demonstrated with adequate analysis, and the operating organization is prepared to operate it safely.

Decision in Principle (DiP) - General criteria of approval

  • a new NPP is in line with the overall good of society
    • this is to be decided by the Government and confirmed by the Parliament
  • no safety issues can be foreseen that would prevent the proposed plant(s) from meeting Finnish nuclear safety regulations
    • this is assessed by STUK, full veto right
  • proposed host municipality agrees to provide the site
    • also municipality has full veto right
siting role of environmental impact assessment
Siting - Role of Environmental Impact Assessment
  • For the application of Decision in Principle, Environmental Impact Assessment Report is needed as an application document - STUK gives its statement on the Environmental Impact Assessment Report
  • Suitability of site of the NPP is one of the factors in the Decision in Principle phase; location must be appropriate with respect to safety of planned operations and environmental protection must be taken into account.
  • Site must have been reserved for the constructing of NPP in a town plan or a building plan in accordance of with Land Use and Building Act and the applicant must own the land.
  • Effects of local conditions on safety and on physical protection and emergency preparedness arrangements shall be taken into account. Threats posed by the facility to its environment remain extremely minor and heat removal to the environment is reliable.
environmental impact assessment eia
Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA)
  • EIA is based on environmental legislation that was issued later than the Nuclear Energy Act
    • EIA fits well with the nuclear legislation: it provides useful input for the Decision in Principle which is the first step of NPP licensing according to the Nuclear Energy Act
  • EIA does not require specific information on the plant design
  • EIA was done separately for two alternative (existing) sites: Loviisa and Olkiluoto (for the fifth unit)

Contents of the EIA (1)

  • Conventional industrial type impacts
  • impact of the construction phase in local municipality and its surroundings
  • impact to the life of local residents and society (social issues, economic activities, services)
  • impact to land use and landscape
  • impact of power transmission lines
  • impact of increasing traffic
  • sewage and other conventional waste

Contents of the EIA (2)

  • Nuclear power plant specific impacts
  • releases to the atmosphere and their consequences
  • releases to the water and their consequences
  • heat impact to the sea water and fishing
  • impact to the soil and groundwater
  • impact to the vegetation, animals, and protected nature objects
  • impact of nuclear fuel production and transport
  • impact of facility dismantling
  • solid radioactive waste and its disposal
  • consequences of potential accidents
parties in eia and their roles 1
Parties in EIA and theirroles (1)
  • Project developer (power utility)
    • produces EIA program and report
    • developer’s own organization and/or consultants
  • Contact authority
    • Ministry of Employment and the Economy for nuclear facilities
    • Regional Environmental Centre for all other projects
    • arranges hearing on EIA program and report
    • issues statements on EIA program and report
  • Ministry of the Environment
    • arranges the international hearing according to the Espoo Convention

EIA procedure (STUK)

  • STUK issuesstatements to the Ministry of Employment and the Economy on the EIA programme and on the EnvironmentalImpactAssessmentreportdrawnup on the basis of the programme.
parties in eia and their roles 2
Parties in EIA and their roles (2)

Statements or opinions are given by:

  • Central and local authorities, e.g.
    • ministries
    • STUK
    • state provincial offices
    • regional environment centres
    • regional rescue services
  • Municipalities
    • site municipality
    • neighbouring municipalities
    • regional councils (land use planning)
  • Non-governmental organizations
    • environmental groups
    • national and local industrial and business groups
    • local citizens’ groups
      • fishermen’s associations
  • Individual citizens
    • in practice participation is not limited
phases of eia
Phases of EIA
  • EIA Program
    • preparation
    • EIA program submitted to Contact Authority (official start of the EIA process) by the project developer
    • hearing arranged by the Contact Authority (~ 2 months)
    • statement issued by the Contact Authority, additions to the program (~ 2 months)
  • EIA Report
    • assessment according to the program (several months)
    • EIA report submitted to the Contact Authority
    • hearing arranged by the Contact Authority (~ 2 months)
    • the EIA ends with the Contact Authority’s statement (~ 2 months)
      • input for the licensing process
the scope of eia
The scope of EIA
  • Environment is defined in a broad sense
    • natural environment, built environment and social environment
  • Radiological issues are considered on a general level
    • more detailed treatment in the licensing process according to the Nuclear Energy Act
  • Non-radiological impacts are emphasized
    • impacts on the natural environment
      • eutrophication due to warm outlet water
    • societal impacts, especially local
      • impacts on land use
      • property values
      • traffic
      • local economy and employment, agriculture and fishing
      • social structure
radiological issues in eia
Radiological issues in EIA
  • The scope of radiological is to be considered in EIA is not exactly defined in legislation
  • Radioactive releases during normal operation is described:
    • Noble gases 0.65 TBq from OL1-OL2 in 2006 and estimated release per reactor from OL3/OL4 is 0.1 - 10 TBq
    • Iodines (I-131 eq) 0.00016 TBq from OL1-OL2 in 2006 and estimated release per reactor from OL3/OL4 is 0.000001 - 0.001 TBq
    • Aerosols, Tritium and Carbon 14 also given in EIA report
  • Health effects of the population because of radiation are handled in the EIA report
  • Based on discussions with STUK, a release corresponding to the severe accident limit 100 TBq Cs 137 was analysed and described in the EIA report
non radiological impact issues
Non radiological impact issues
  • Land use
  • Cooling water
  • Water quality and biology
  • Fresh and waste water
  • Monitoring programme
  • Transport and local infrastructure
  • Soil and groundwater
  • Energy economy
land use
Land use
  • The Land Use and Building Act and Decree prescribe planning pertaining to land use and construction. Regional plans and local master plans are, by nature, far-reaching, general land use plans. Detailed plans are drawn up for the detailed arrangement, construction and development of land use at local level.
  • Nuclear Energy Act decrees that before a detailed plan is drawn up for the area intended for the site of a nuclear facility, and prior to the approval of such a plan where a site is reserved for the construction of a nuclear facility, a statement must be obtained from the Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority.
  • The environmental permit procedure prescribed in the Environmental Permit Procedures Act applies to the construction and operation of nuclear power plants.
emergency zones protective zone
Emergency zones: protective zone
  • The plant site is surrounded by a protective zone extending to about a five kilometres' distance from the facility.
  • Land use restrictions are in force within the zone.
    • Dense settlement and hospitals or facilities inhabited or visited by a considerable number of people are not allowed within the zone.
    • The zone may not contain such significant productive activities as could be affected by an accident at the nuclear power plant.
    • The number of permanent inhabitants should not be in excess of 200. The number of persons taking part in recreational activities may be higher, provided that an appropriate rescue plan can be drawn up for the area.
emergency zones emergency planning zone
Emergency zones: emergency planning zone
  • In accordance with the Ministry of the Interior Order, the nuclear facility is to be surrounded by an emergency planning zone extending to about 20 kilometres from the facility;
  • The zone shall be covered by detailed rescue plans for public protection drawn up by the authorities. The authorities also bear responsibility for the implementation of the plans. In implementation, special attention shall be paid to the characteristics of the site's surroundings, such as archipelagos that are difficult to cross and recreational settlements, for example.
  • The emergency planning zone may not contain such populations or population centres as would render impossible the efficient implementation of rescue measures applicable to them.
cooling and fresh water waste water
Cooling and fresh water, waste water
  • Large volumes of seawater are needed for the cooling of turbines. No obstacles are foreseen in the intake or outlet arrangements. The effects of elevated outlet seawater temperature on the sea have been studied in EIA Report.
    • about 60 m3/sec in addition to 120 m3/sec for OL1-OL3
    • temperature increase is about 11-12 oC (to average 16 oC, max 25 oC).
  • The processes of NPP need a lot of purified fresh water. Fresh raw water arrangements are appropriate at the site. Raw water is pumped from the 8 km distance from the river via pipeline. Company has plans for water and they will be reviewed in the construction license phase. Tap and process water need for operation is:
    • current daily intake is 300 m3 for OL1-OL2 (2 x 800 MW)
    • estimated daily intake for OL3 is 200 m3 (1600 MW)
    • estimate for the new reactor (OL4) is 200 - 400 m3
  • Effects of waste water are minor
    • estimated daily outlet may be about 700 m3
cooling water
Cooling water
  • Effects of cooling water into the environment has been studied experientally through modelling and by using three dimensional dispersal calculations. The modelling has taken into account different intake and outlet possibilities. Detailed results have been presented in the EIA Report. In the summer time, results depend on the selected cooling water arrangements and wind direction:
  • temperature increase more than 5 oC in surface waters - estimated area is 1.4 - 3.6 km2
  • temperature increase 3 - 5 oC in surface waters - estimated area is about 5 - 10 km2
  • temperature increase 1 oC in surface waters - estimated area is about 25 km2
  • Summer average 500 m and 1000 m from the discharge point is 27 and and 24 oC respectively and the maximum values are 35 oC and 31-32 oC respectively
  • In the winter time ice conditions have been estimated ( e.g. unfrozen area)
impact on water quality and biology
Impact on water quality and biology
  • Biological functions are speeded up. Some species may be increased compared to others because of better living conditions. E.g. there is slight increase in algal growth. Eutrophication may have some negative effects on shore areas.
  • The vegetation period will become extended and the increased temperature generally improve the living conditions for plants. The visible changes are limited into areas where temperature is larger than 1 oC above the environment.
  • For fishing, main impact is during winter time because of extended unfrozen area and weak ice. In summer time, valuable fish that like colder waters such as salmon and whitewish stay outside the nearby waters. Generally, effects for fishing are minor. They are expected to remain similar to the present.
waste water
Waste water
  • OL1-OL2 generate about 70 m3 waste process water on daily basis, OL3 will produce about 200 m3 and the new NPP from 70 to 400 m3 on daily basis.
  • Amount of laundy waste water is currently 3 m3 per day and from the construction sites OL3 and OL4 it is 1,5 m3 per unit per day. When all four units are in operation amount of purified sanitary waste water is expected to be about 180 m3 on daily basis.
  • Waste water is routed via outlet cooling water channels to be distributed into large area
  • The waste water causes minor nitrogen and phosphorous load and oxygen-consuming load in the sea.
  • Their effect is expected to remain so small that the impact probably cannot be distinguished from other nutrient and solid matter loads in the area.
monitoring programme
Monitoring programme
  • The impact of the environmental loads on the water system will be monitored in accordance with a programme approved by the permit authority. Topics include:
    • temperature measurements
    • physical and chemical monitoring of water
    • biological state of water
    • fish populations and fishing conditions
    • in the winter people are warned about weakened ice
    • operation of waste water treatment plant is supervised by monitoring the treatment efficiency
  • There is also radiological environmental monitoring programme as a license condition of operating license
effects on transportation and roads local infrastructure
Effects on transportation and roads, local infrastructure
  • Traffic routes,
    • more trafic - more noise, however, effect is very small
    • benefits are more important: better roads in the area
    • Water transport routes prepared for large component deliveries
    • Airline routes / may mean some restrictions for private and military airplanes
  • Grid connections: extra high voltage transmission lines are needed. They require a separe EIA procedure in Finland. This has an effect on land use in the nearby areas.
  • Local infrastructure is developing, services are needed: employment is increased.
  • Tax income is increased in the area because of increased number of taxpayers and presence of large industrial company.
  • Landscape: one extra building in the existing site. In the new site, some natural preservation or other nature values may be in conflict with the industrial development.
impact on soil and groundwater
Impact on soil and groundwater
  • In Finland, we have old bedrock - good base for industrial facility
    • Foundations need to be prepared: waterproof concrete
    • Final disposal facilities for nuclear waste causes underground excavations
    • Discharges of waste water polluting the soil has been prevented by suitable structures
    • NPP is situated outside the important groundwater areas

Cost estimates for power from future plants

Nordic spot market prices



example ol4 eia
Example - OL4 EIA
  • Project Developer Teollisuuden Voima Oyj (TVO)
  • Main consultant Pöyry Engineering Oy
  • OL4 EIA Program
    • 60 pages
    • program submitted in May 2007
    • contact authority’s statement in September 2007
  • OL4 EIA Report
    • 187 pages + 33 p. appendices
    • report submitted in February 2008
    • contact authority’s statement in June 2008
    • some additional assessments were required by the contact authority
example of contents of eia report ol4
Example of Contents of EIA Report (OL4)

1 Preface, 2 p.

2 Project, 8 p.

3 EIA Procedure, Communication and Participation, 6 p.

4 Technical description of the project, 4 p.

5 Licences, permits, plans, notifications and decisions required for the project, 4 p.

6 Relationship of the project to regulations, plans, and programmes concerning environmental protection, 4 p.

7 Limits of environmental impacts assessment, 2 p.

8 Impacts during construction, 10 p.

9 Impacts during normal use; assessment methods, present state of the environment and estimated impacts, 86 p.

10 Nuclear safety and the impacts of exceptional situations and accidents, 10 p.

11 Impacts of the zero option, 8 p.

12 Comparison of alternatives and an assessment of the significance of environmental impacts, 6 p.

13 Prevention and mitigation of impacts, 6 p.

14 Environmental impact monitoring programme, 6 p.

experiences on eia
Experiences on EIA
  • The objective of EIA is to produce information
    • to serve as a basis for decision-making and
    • to increase the opportunities for citizens to receive information, become involved in the planning of the projects and express their opinion.
  • The EIA process is an important forum of communication between the licence applicant ant the local population and officials
  • An opportunity to build local confidence and acceptance of the project
    • local acceptance is important as the acceptance by the council of the site municipality is an absolute condition for a positive Government decision in principle
  • Licence applicants have invested considerable resources in EIA
  • Examples of issues in the final statements by the contact authority
    • effects of warmed cooling water
      • eutrofication
    • influences on Natura 2000 natural reserves
international eia hearing
International EIA hearing
  • Convention on Environmental Impact Assessment in a Transboundary Context (Espoo, 1991) - the 'Espoo Convention‘
    • drafted by the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE).
    • in force since 1997
    • All parties to the Convention are entitled to participate in EIAs conducted in other countries if the projects listed in the Convention are likely to cause significant adverse environmental impacts in their territories.
hearings and interaction with the public
Hearings and interaction with the public
  • The decision making on a NPP involves information to the public and hearings at several stages
  • EIA information meetings and hearings
    • program
    • report
  • Decision in Principle hearing (oral and written)
  • Land use planning information and hearing
    • regional, municipal, detailed
  • Nonmandatory information and discussion meetings arranged e.g. by
    • licence applicants
    • STUK in cooperation with municipalities
current status of new npp projects in finland
Current status of new NPP projects in Finland
  • EIA has been completed for all new projects
    • some additional clarification have been required
      • they will be considered in the decision-in-principle process
  • Decision-in Principle processes
    • Olkiluoto4, Loviisa 3 and Fennovoima public hearings have been completed and all statements have been submitted to the ministry
  • The Government considered all decision-in-principle applications at the same time
    • Government and Parliament decisions were given in 2010
    • Two of the candidates: Olkiluoto 4 and Fennovoima received DiP.
conclusions on finnish projects
Conclusions on Finnishprojects
  • Site specific external events have been considered extensively in the design and licensing of OL3
  • The experiences from the operating units have been used
    • operating events
    • external events PRAs
  • However, some development areas have been identified
    • in plant design
    • in design and licensing processes
    • most safety issues have been resolved with design modifications or more detailed analyses
    • OL3 experiences will be considered in new projects
ReferencesFinnish guides on siting and external eventsavailable at www.stuk.fi > In English > Publications > Regulatory Guides

YVL 1.0 Safety criteria for design of nuclear power plants

YVL 1.10 Requirements for siting a nuclear power plant

YVL 2.6 Seismic events and nuclear power plants

YVL 7.1 - 7.7Radiation protection

YVL 8.1Waste

YVL 7.4 Nuclear power plant emergency preparedness

Guide VAL 1.1 Emergency response

references eia
References, EIA
  • Ministry of Employment and the Economy www-pages (Aug. 08)
    • all projects
    • www.tem.fi > In English > Energy > Nuclear Energy> EIA Procedures for new nuclear power projects
    • EIA programs, reports and Contact Authority’s statements
    • OL4 EIA program and report, direct links
      • http://www.tem.fi/files/17608/YVA_ohjelma_EN.pdf
      • http://www.tem.fi/files/18506/YVA_selostusraportti_EN_Secured.pdf
  • TVO - Olkiluoto 3 and 4
    • http://www.tvo.fi/ > What’s on > PDF documents
  • Fortum - Loviisa 3
    • http://www.fortum.com > Environmental Impacts Assessement in Loviisa
  • Fennovoima - three candidate sites
    • http://www.fennovoima.fi/> In English > Fennovoima> Environmental Impacts Assessment