Finland’s Oldest Nuclear Reactor Decommissioned in Espoo

The FiR1 nuclear reactor, operational for over fifty years in Espoo, Finland, has been decommissioned with Fortum's collaboration. This intricate project tackled numerous challenges, establishing Finland’s nuclear decommissioning waste management mechanism. The insights gained will guide future commercial reactor decommissioning in Finland.

Commissioned in 1962, FiR1 was Finland's oldest reactor, used for research and healthcare. Despite its modest 250-kilowatt thermal power, FiR1 didn't generate electricity or heat. The decommissioning project, a domestic model for future commercial reactors, enriched VTT’s and Fortum’s international expertise.

Markus Airila, VTT’s principal scientist and decommissioning manager, highlighted the comprehensive decommissioning test, including stakeholder perspectives and national waste management establishment. The reactor, shut down in 2015, initiated its decommissioning licensing and planning. By 2020, spent fuel was transferred to the United States, marking a key milestone.

Concurrently, VTT, with Finnish partners, ran the dECOmm project, funded by Business Finland, using FiR1’s decommissioning to test technologies, successfully exporting expertise.

With a decommissioning license obtained in 2021, Fortum began dismantling in June 2023, completing by April 2024. The radioactive waste, mainly concrete, was sent to Fortum's Loviisa repository. Airila praised Fortum’s efficient, safety-focused work, leveraging expertise from Loviisa’s nuclear plant.

Fortum’s director, Antti Ketolainen, emphasized the project’s testament to their comprehensive nuclear facility lifecycle expertise. The decommissioning, costing around 24 million euros and pre-funded by the Finnish Nuclear Waste Management Fund, involved about 40 workers, including long-time VTT employees, ensuring thorough waste disposal, radiation monitoring, and site supervision.

Read the original press release here.

Document Details and Download

Date published
18 June 2024
Publisher (Company, Organisation)
VTT Technical Research Center of Finland
Research Project Title
FiR1 Decommissioning Project; dECOmm Project
Companies mentioned (up to 8); separate by Semikolon
VTT Technical Research Center of Finland;
Business Finland

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