Proposed Simo Nuclear Power Plant
Fennovoima plans to build a nuclear power plant in Northern Finland. The company is a new player in the energy field and its biggest shareholder is the German E.On, 30%. It has two alternative sites for NPP, Karsikkoniemi in Simo, Lapland region and Hanhikivi in Pyhäjoki. The choice between sites will be made early in year 2011.
Simo Nuclear Power Plant site (coordinates are 65.37,764N 024.42,188E) is close to the Maksniemi village and fishing harbour. The area is currently used for leisure and fishing. There are 160 recreational residences, many of which are year-round use. The area has good berry picking, mushroom picking, hunting and outdoor terrains, which are used by thousands of residents of surrounding areas. Bird life and flora in the area is diverse. 13 breeding bird species are protected under the EU Birds Directive (Annex 1). The area has a number of threatened and near-plant species, which would destroy the power plant construction. Impact seems low-lying beaches and the adjacent protected areas, including a Natura 2000 protected beach just opposite the cooling water dump area.
The company has no experience in any kind of engineering work, so both locations were selected without knowing the possible problems. There is no knowledge how to build the world's most powerful NPP in this kind of arctic area, where shallow water and drifting ice can cause serious problems to the cooling systems. Pack ice is reported to create high walls, from sea bottom to more than 10 meters above surface. This can completely block the cooling water intake, approx 60 to 90 cubic meters of water per second is needed to run the facility. The emergency cooling systems needs lots of water too, though the amount is somewhat smaller.
The cooling water damages local winter tourism as well. By melting large areas of ice, there will be no snow scooter safaris after the reactor is started. The tourist-icebreaker Sampo will suffer from this lack of ice too. And the local people are relying on the ice to visit their cottages during the winter.
Another problem caused by the cooling water is damage to fishing. The salmon migrating routes to all the nordic salmon-rivers (Simo, Tornio and Kalix) go right through the middle of the proposed water intake spot. The plant will be killing all the migrating fish, causing a complete extinction of salmon in the Baltic Sea.
Inside the 5 km protection zone lives a population of 3,200 people, which is more than 10 times higher than allowed. The area includes a school, a daycare centre and an elderly house. Within the 20 km radius there are over 30,000 people living in Kemi, Simo and Keminmaa. The Kemi city centre is only 12 km north of the reactor core. This is a completely foolish place to build a NPP.
Simo on the Nuclear Baltic Map: nr. 9