Finns are pragmatic people who love their country, but also recognize its geographic limitations.
“Finland is a very cold and dark country. Electricity is very important to us. We are a kind of island in Europe, we have take care of ourselves. No one will help us if we run out of power.”
Way back in 2003, the Finns made a deal with a consortium led by Areva and Siemens to be the lead customer for the newly developed European Pressurized Reactor (EPR), an unproven design that includes the latest bells and whistles and meets all of the requirements that the EU has layered onto nuclear power plant designs during the past several decades. That new plant began construction at Olkiluoto and has experienced stridently-publicized cost and schedule problems ever since.
Some might think that such an experience would sour a small country like Finland on all nuclear energy technology, but those people would have forgotten the Finnish imperatives represented in the quote above. It is a cold, dark country where survival depends on having a reliable, affordable source of energy.
Hard nosed Finns have done the math and understand the options. They took the right lessons from Olkiluoto and did not abandon nuclear energy technology, they abandoned western European nuclear technology suppliers who had allowed their skills to atrophy and who had accepted suboptimal design requirements in an attempt to appease what they thought the EU regulators wanted them to do. Instead, the Finns chose Rosatom, a Russian nuclear power plant supplier that has been engineering and building nuclear power plants consistently for several decades.
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