Antti Saarelainen doing installation works in ONKALO.

Meeri Simberg along the Olkiluoto 1 cooling duct, Olkiluoto 3 plant in the background.

Summer work stories 2020

Despite the situation caused by Covid-19, Posiva’s summer workers received pleasant news in May, that they would be able to start work in June. Two summer workers share their thoughts.

Antti Saarelainen

Returning for his second summer, Antti Saarelainen, who studies international business at the Rauma campus of the Satakunta University of Applied Sciences (SAMK), ended up applying for work at Posiva last year in hope of interesting work tasks. After a good summer, the decision to apply again was easy in the end.

“In many cases, first-year students find it difficult to find jobs that match their education, and so I decided last year to also apply for jobs outside my own field. I was very interested in Posiva’s field work, and luckily I was selected. All in all, last summer was such a great experience that I wanted to apply again this year,” says Saarelainen.

Saarelainen was already familiar with Olkiluoto before his summer job at Posiva because he worked at OL3 on two different occasions after his military service. In addition, Antti’s father Kalle Saarelainen worked in Olkiluoto for a total of 17 years before retiring right before the start of summer. In addition, Antti’s brother Lasse Saarelainen works at the plants currently in operation.

“Since our father retired, Lasse and I must uphold the family name on the island,” Saarelainen laughs.

This summer Saarelainen was, for example, able to take water samples and plug pilot holes in ONKALO®. His work tasks were evenly distributed between above-ground and underground work. Antti enjoyed working at Posiva for several reasons.

“Flexible working hours are a pleasant thing, but I especially like my team, which is full of fun people. Many of my friends from school were left completely without summer jobs, so I would like to thank Posiva for letting me and the other summer workers come and work on final disposal this year, despite Covid-19,” says Saarelainen.

Meeri Simberg

Having worked her first summer at Posiva, Meeri Simberg starts her second year of studies in energy and environmental engineering this autumn. Simberg, who previously worked as a laboratory nurse, developed an interest in technology in an automated laboratory.

“My first summer jobs were as a laboratory nurse at Rauma Regional Hospital in 2012, and I got a permanent job at Satasairaala Hospital in March 2015. Interest in technology led me to consider changing fields, and eventually I decided to apply to SAMK to study engineering,” Simberg says.

Simberg worked in the disposal production equipment programme and became familiar with various Posiva underground equipment during the summer. Entering an entirely new field required learning new things and, of course, the support of more experienced colleagues.

“I really liked how summer workers were included in various meetings from the very beginning. Although at first I was just sitting in, it was very helpful for me to get to see how projects work in practice,” Simberg says.

Covid-19 had a big impact on the summer experience, as most Posiva personnel worked remotely during this time, and thus almost all meetings were via Skype and Teams, for example. Throughout the summer, Simberg shared the head office with not only supervisors but also other Posiva summer workers, who made summer especially pleasant.

“We became a good team that could throw ideas around and inspire each other,” Simberg concludes.