Big change ahead
According to President Janne Mokka, Posiva’s main challenge is turning the long-term final disposal plans into actual construction work. The new President aims to lead Posiva into the final disposal phase.
The phrase “period of change” is heard often when a company gets a new president. However, even without a new president, Posiva would be in for a change.
The company is in the process of transforming from a research enterprise to the party implementing the final disposal facility. Whilst design, planning and research work will continue in Olkiluoto, the focus will increasingly turn to the construction of the final disposal facility and the repository.
“This is an extremely interesting time for me to assume my new responsibilities. Posiva’s final disposal plans have remained steady in spite of the changes that the world around us has gone through. Our current challenge is to implement these plans,” says Janne Mokka, the new President of Posiva as of 1 December.
“My vision is that the final disposal programme progresses to the disposal phase during my presidency,” he continues.
The 42-year-old Mokka transferred to Posiva from TVO, where he headed the OL4 project. Mokka’s predecessor, Reijo Sundell, will continue to work for Posiva in the role of Corporate Adviser until his retirement.
Leader of competent and committed personnel
According to Mokka, the most fascinating thing about Posiva is the enormous size of the construction project and the challenge that it entails. It is also a matter of values: spent nuclear fuel must be managed in a safe manner.
“Systematic planning has been a steady feature of the Finnish final disposal project. Long-term work has been carried out in advance to gather the funds required for the final disposal operations.”
Mokka says that he was able to form a picture of Posiva’s operations during his years at TVO. Further assistance will be provided by the former president of the company, who places his nearly forty years of experience in the field of nuclear power at the disposal of his successor.
“In addition to providing assistance, the idea is that my experience can be utilised in certain challenging tasks during the spring of 2015,” says Sundell.
Janne Mokka describes the people at Posiva as competent and committed.
“The president’s task is to steer this team of experts towards common goals,” he states.
Construction licence: a big step forward
During his years at TVO, Mokka was involved in the design of one nuclear power plant as well as in the operation activities of another. As the completed final disposal facility and encapsulation plant will be nuclear facilities, Sundell values the new president’s experience of nuclear installations.
“When the construction of the nuclear facilities starts, we will seek to utilise TVO’s experience on the subject. We will increase our cooperation with TVO as the similarity between our construction operations and theirs increases,” Mokka says.
According to the newly-appointed President, the next big step forward will be the granting of the final disposal facility construction licence. He expects Posiva to get the licence in the spring of 2015.
“As regards the safety of the disposal concept, the granting of the licence will be a major positive factor.”
What is the new president’s vision of Posiva ten years after the granting of the licence?
“The disposal operations should be underway. We will be constructing additional underground repositories and further developing the disposal methods. We will also be carrying our research work,” Mokka says.