- Sputnik International, 1920
Energy Crisis in Europe
Europe is bracing for tough winter as US-led push to “punish” Moscow for its military operation in Ukraine backfired on the EU, which has faced months of skyrocketing energy prices and rising inflation after Brussels joined Washington in attempting to “phase out” Russian oil, coal and gas.

Finland to Launch Europe's Only Uranium Recovery Facility

CC BY 2.0 / Antti Lankinen / TalvivaaraAerial photograph of Talvivaara mine in Sotkamo, Finland. (File)
Aerial photograph of Talvivaara mine in Sotkamo, Finland. (File) - Sputnik International, 1920, 22.12.2022
The unique project is touted as a move to make Finland one of the world’s uranium producers, as well as to strengthen the EU’s energy independence and self-sufficiency at a time when it is suffering a self-inflicted energy crisis.
Terrafame, a Finnish mining and chemicals company headquartered in the town of Sotkamo, has announced plans to start recovering natural uranium as a by-product of mined zinc and nickel by the summer of 2024, which will make it the only such facility in Europe.
The production process will employ the low concentrations of natural uranium found in locally mined ore. Terrafame already has a ready-built uranium recovery plant and is now preparing it for operational use. The facility was largely built by the previous owner of the mine, Talvivaara Mining Company, which planned to mine uranium, yet was declared bankrupt in 2014. In total, the launch will require investment of approximately 20Mln euros ($21Mln).
After the start-up phase, the recovery plant is projected to reach full capacity by 2026, producing approximately 200 tons per year, and employing about 40 people.
The uranium recovered by Terrafame will be sent abroad for further processing, after which it will be used to produce nuclear energy. Terrafame sees the implementation of this project as a move to make Finland one of world’s uranium producers, as well as to boost the EU’s energy independence and self-sufficiency.
“If you look at it from the point of view of energy production, uranium recovery is important for Finland and Europe and so it is important for us. It will create new jobs and a little more turnover”, Terrafame chief executive Joni Lukkaroinen said in a statement.
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Terrafame, 70 percent-owned by state-owned Finnish Minerals Group, is known for mining nickel, zinc, cobalt and copper in Sotkamo, in the Kainuu region of eastern Finland. It is also known for running a production line for chemicals used in electric car batteries, ranked among one of the world’s largest.
In 2021, 13 EU countries had operational nuclear reactors (Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Germany, Spain, France, Hungary, the Netherlands, Romania, Slovenia, Slovakia, Finland and Sweden), and that year they generated around 25.2 percent of the total electricity produced in the bloc, though in some countries - such as France - their output accounts for more than 60 percent.
So far, the EU is heavily reliant on imported uranium, with Russia being the second-largest exporter to the bloc, providing about 20 percent, second only to Niger and ahead of Kazakhstan. Because of its great importance, this aspect of trade with Russia has been conspicuously untouched by European sanctions unleashed against all spheres of life ranging from banking and consumer goods to energy, intended to “punish” Russia for its special operation in Ukraine.
The restrictions disrupted the supply chains worldwide and exacerbated ongoing energy market issues, which led to rocketing oil prices. As a result of the sanctions, an energy crisis seized Europe, the cost of living soared as inflation reached record highs, and the bloc's industry was put in jeopardy.
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