Director General’s review

Like previous years, 2023 was a year of success for STUK. Professional and motivated personnel achieved monitoring and operational objectives as expected. STUK’s work was influenced by the goals of the government programme, including the reform of the Nuclear Energy Act. 

The year 2023 included several significant tasks, such as the overall safety assessment of the Loviisa plant to renew the operating licence, monitoring the dismantling of the research reactor in Espoo, assessing the safety of Posiva's final disposal facility in order to start the operation of the facility and monitoring the commercial use of the Olkiluoto 3 plant. According to STUK’s assessment, the safety of nuclear energy and radiation use is at a good level in Finland.

With regard to the goals of the new government programme, we participated in the reform of nuclear energy legislation, supporting the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment of Finland in particular in the law drafting. We also started to reform the more detailed safety requirements and continued to study the safety features of various small modular reactors. As part of the regulatory reform, we changed the regulation concerning the preparedness of the nuclear power plants. The amended regulation now allows locating small modular reactors closer to settlements than they currently are, provided that the safety requirements are met.

The safety of the use of radiation in Finnish health care, industry and research is at a high level thanks to the long-term work of the authorities and operators. The highest occupational radiation doses are caused by natural radiation. The most significant change in 2023 was the launch of the wellbeing services counties. The concentration of healthcare operations in larger units changed the responsibilities and management. We took this into account in our supervision tasks.
The change in the global security environment has a direct impact on our readiness and preparedness. Securing the continuity of operations and preparing for different types of disturbances in society has been raised as a priority in our preparedness development. We actively monitored the security environment, and monitoring the situation in Ukraine in particular became a routine. We continued to support Ukraine in its cooperation with authorities and prepared a joint Nordic project to deliver a mobile laboratory for radiation and radioactivity measurements to the country.

Our international cooperation continued actively and in close cooperation with the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment. One example is the extensive multi-year safeguards of the nuclear materials training project which was launched in Africa, during which we train nuclear material safeguards experts in African countries with funding from the European Commission and the Ministry for Foreign Affairs in Finland.

The uncertain global situation, increased interest in additional construction of nuclear power and new technologies have influenced our communication, which focused on strengthening the sense of security for the members of public and providing information to support decision-making. Trust in STUK and its reputation remained high. We were ranked sixth in the national survey on trust in public administration. Last year, we were ranked eighth.

Our strategic development focuses on the reform of the regulation, the development of knowledge-based management, digital services, proactive influence and cost-effective operations. We have managed to stabilize our financial situation by continuing to work determinedly to control costs.

Well-being, competent, motivated and responsible employees as well as the operating methods, procedures and organizational culture supporting them are our most important assets now and in the future. Based on the measurements and surveys that have been carried out, the status of our safety culture and the well-being of our employees are largely at a good level. We have been working hard in the long term to achieve the good results. We strive for improvement by developing our work management, interaction and sense of community.

In 2024, we will continue our work to promote nuclear and radiation safety in Finland and around the world. We respond to the changing operating environment and improve our impact and cost efficiency by implementing our strategic goals. We are facing the future challenges and building an even safer future together with our stakeholders. 

Petteri Tiippana
Director General