Ivo Kouklik: Nuclear Power as a Passion

Nuclear power is practically a way of living for Ivo Kouklik. Here he tells his story of how the construction of Dukovany nuclear power plant next to his home town Trebic in the Czech Republic brought him into this field and how he finally ended up working at Fennovoima.

I have a long experience with nuclear power plants. Somehow almost my whole life has been connected to nuclear power, even since I was a student. I was born in Czechoslovakia in 1959, and as a student I planned to be a pilot. My plans changed, however, when the construction of the first unit of Dukovany nuclear power plant (NPP) started close to my hometown Trebic. This was a sign for me to study nuclear engineering at Prague Technical University.

All in all I have over 30 years of first-hand experience with nuclear power and pressurized water reactors in the areas of commissioning, operation, licensing, modification, engineering and managing new build nuclear projects. Through many positions within an NPP I have managed to gain broad technological knowledge on nuclear technologies and nuclear safety. At Dukovany NPP, I started in the control room during commissioning and later in normal operation. Afterwards I became responsible for operational support of 4 units, and later on I moved into several positions related to safety, engineering and investment. I finished my career at Dukovany as Station Director. During that time I also had the opportunity to work with International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) as an expert in different fields like safety culture-, and operational safety review team (-OSART) missions.

I also worked at CEZ utility headquarters, on the board of the Slovak company JESS (a new build NPP company, equivalent to Fennovoima) and at Rosatom before joining Fennovoima in 2014. My first contact with Fennovoima was on Rosatom’s side of the table during EPC contract negotiations, as the Director of projects and Vice President of Rusatom Overseas. I was responsible for developing nuclear new build projects in six countries on behalf of Rosatom: the Czech Republic, Jordan, Finland, Slovakia, Hungary, and South Africa (isotope reactor).

At Fennovoima I am now Nuclear Island Director. I have people of 10 different nationalities in my team. I consider it a privilege to recruit people myself and to build a team according to the project needs. We have an excellent mixture of both younger and more-senior people in my team and they all have the required professional capabilities, experience and personality. It doesn’t help if you are a top expert but difficult to work with – or a nice person without the know-how and experience.

I think my career success has been based on respect for other people's experience and opinions. On other hand, I am not afraid to take responsibility and make the decisions. While I have know-how in the nuclear power plant technology, I never forget that this is not a solo act, but team work.

I am glad for my decision to come to Finland. Fennovoima’s project is dynamic, interesting and demanding. Since there are not that many NPP projects in the world, I believe this is the best possible place for a nuclear specialist. It is fit for a person who is not afraid of changing circumstances and is willing to work hard. Check our open positions. It is definitely worth your while.

Ivo Kouklik

Education: Nuclear Engineer; MBA

Current title: Nuclear Island Director, Fennovoima

Hobbies: Travelling, trekking in high mountains, Sport – running, skiing, football, Building model aircraft

Favorite motto: “Obstacles are in the life for us to overcome them.”

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