1. Who are you and what are you doing in the nuclear power station in Loviisa?

My name is Miroslav Gulčík and I am a site manager of a small, 15-member group of electricians. Our company PPA Energo is one of the biggest companies performing electric wiring in Slovakia. It employs more than 500 people. In Loviisa NPP we are a contractor for AREVA in the project LARA. I think it is very interesting to work for this world-renowned company in this important project.

2. Where are you from and what you were doing in the past?

I am from Slovakia. PPA Energo is a company focusing mostly on the nuclear sector and I have been working here for almost 15 years. During this period, I have held several positions. Among them, the most interesting was the position of a project manager for German, French and Korean customers in Slovakia and abroad.


Assembling mechanics of PPA Energo                                                                                           Control of cable
for switchboard connection                                                                                                              switches into the reactor


3. How do you take safety at your work?

Safety is always the most important thing in our work. Our team is used to working at nuclear power plants across the whole Europe and safety rules at work are pretty much the same everywhere. Of course, there are certain specialities at Loviisa nuclear power plant and we have to be aware of them. In our work there is no room for mistakes.

4. Pros and Cons of the Loviisa nuclear power plant

There are many pros at the Loviisa nuclear power plant. For example, the great advantage of your power plant is that you do not have to build monstrous concrete cooling towers; you can use sea water for cooling system. Therefore, your plant is much smaller than others, such as Central European. That means lower construction costs.
Furthermore, in my opinion, there are far fewer people employed in your power plant than in ours. As a result, you achieve the same performance at lower operating costs than we do.
Very good thing for us is your storehouse. People who work in it are very nice and we can lend here the tools of personal protection and also some equipment. This facilitates our work, we do not waste time looking for small tools in major cities around Loviisa.
And a bad thing in Loviisa? Perhaps only that the decision-making processes sometimes last longer than I am used to. This is probably due to the importance of this project. Never mind, at least I will learn to be more patient.

5. Pros and Cons of Finnish people and culture?

Actually, people are the same all around the world. How they behave to you depends on how you do towards them. Finnish people are very friendly, hospitable and patient. Unlike the noisy Slovaks, Finns are very quiet. Sometimes, especially on weekdays, the Finns seem to be a little sad. But fortunately, on Fridays it changes.
A big advantage is that almost every Finn speaks English, so I do not have any communication problems.
Last year, when I came back from Finland to Slovakia, my friends asked me: “Did you see thousands of Finnish lakes? Did you meet a moose? Did you go to the sauna? Did you drink Finnish vodka? ” I answered each and every question: “Yes! And I liked it! ”

6. What is your opinion of Loviisa in general? Would you like to live in Loviisa?

Loviisa is a very small but very nice and clean town. It has the sea and I love the sea. It is amazing. We do not have the sea, and to see it, we have to travel hundreds of kilometres. I often spend time walking or sitting at the seaside and reflecting on my past and future. If I were twenty years younger and if I had no commitments in Slovakia, I could very well imagine living in Loviisa. However, I am very glad to have my destination, where I always return. There are my two small children.

7. Tell us whatever you can think of…

Due to White Nights here I have had a real problem to fall asleep. A Finnish colleague recommended me to put on a pair of black briefs. Apparently, it helps. Well I do not know … does it really?


From left to right: Miroslav Gulčík (PPA Energo), Peter Lemstra, quoting KEHRS (AREVA)


AREVA, Loviisa, 13th of September 2008

Vážení páni,

Volám sa Manfred Schmitz a som vedúcim uvádzania do prevádzky v AREVA NP. Po pár rokoch nábehárskych prác v Číne, Turecku a Mexiku som teraz nasadený na jadrovú elektráreň Loviisa.


My name is Manfred Schmitz and I am the Head of Commissioning in AREVA NP. After a few years of the start-up work in China, Turkey and Mexico, I now deployed on the Loviisa nuclear power plant.
I had not known PPA ENERGO before and I was a little worried about cooperation with this, yet for me completely strange company. But time has shown that all my fears were unfounded. Your team has given an excellent performance here at Loviisa! I have never experienced that out of thousands of tested connections there were 99.99% correct. Your team here in place is very professional, flexible and very enthusiastic. Therefore, I consider it a pleasant duty to thank the following collaborators:

– Dornák Ján               – Michaliga Peter
– Drahoš Peter            – Mravík Jaro
– Gulčík Miro               – Starý Peter
– Komloši Roman        – Theisz Marián
– Kubošný Marek         – Valášek Miro
– Kubošný Rado          – Vavrovič Ľubo
– Masník Miki


I hope I can cooperate with this group in future as well.
Thank you very much, guys and keep it up.

Yours sincerely,

Dipl.-Ing. Manfred Schmitz
Head of Commissioning


Acknowledgements original can be viewed HERE.