Testing of the instrumentation and control (I&C) systems of the EPR under construction at Finland's Olkiluoto site is under way, utility Teollisuuden Voima Oyj (TVO) has announced. The unit is expected to start up by 2018.
|The Olkiluoto EPR, pictured in December 2015 (Image: TVO)
I&C systems tests began at the unit on 12 January, TVO said in a statement yesterday.
These systems will be used for operating, monitoring and controlling the reactor. "There will be several separate and independent I&C systems at the OL3 plant unit, ensuring the safety of the plant in all conditions and circumstances," TVO said.
Jouni Silvennoinen, TVO senior vice president responsible for the Olkiluoto 3 project, said: "The start of I&C tests is the first milestone achieved in 2016."
He noted, "The next significant steps will be taken in April, when starting of the process systems tests is scheduled to take place. At the same time, also the operating licence application of the plant unit will be submitted to the Finnish Ministry of Employment and the Economy."
The process automation systems are designed for normal operating conditions, while safety automation systems control the safety functions in potential transient and accident conditions.
Finnish nuclear regulator STUK approved the overall architecture of the I&C systems for Olkiluoto 3 in April 2014 but asked for further studies to be completed before final approval. The additional information centred on the independence of the plant's digital I&C and backup systems: the regulator required reassurance that the automated systems do not rely on the same systems that are in use during normal operations.
Olkiluoto 3 - the first-of-a-kind EPR - has been under construction since 2005 and has seen several revisions to its start-up date, which is now expected by 2018.
Taishan 1 in China, which has been under construction since 2009, is expected to start up in early 2017, while Taishan 2 is scheduled to begin operating later that year. The Flamanville EPR in France, construction of which began in 2007, is now expected to start up in late 2018.
Researched and written
by World Nuclear News