Finland’s first nuclear power plant was connected to the national grid 40 years ago today.

The reactor at the Loviisa plant then started commercial operations in May 1977, with a second completed three years later.

Throughout its history, the Loviisa power plant has produced a total of 288.2 terawatt hours, equivalent to the annual consumption of over 17 million single-family homes heated with electricity.

Thomas Buddas, deputy director of the plant, said it was “verifiably one of the world’s best nuclear power plants in terms of availability” because of “excellent operational history, international-level load factors and outstanding safety record”.

The plant is operated by Fortum and the company said that to date, the average lifetime load factor for unit 1 is 86.9 per cent and 88.6 per cent for unit two. The average load factor for both units is 87.7 per cent. Today each plant unit has a gross power capacity of 526 MW – the original capacity of the units was 440 MW.

“The Loviisa Power Plant is developed in line with the continuous improvement principle,” said Buddas, who added that “the plant’s most extensive investment programme ever is currently under way and will secure safe, reliable and profitable electricity production to the end of the units’ operating licenses”, which is in 2027 and 2030 respectively.