Olkiluoto 3 commercial operation rescheduled

09 October 2017

Regular electricity production at Finland's Olkiluoto 3 is now expected to start in May 2019, the first-of-a-kind EPR unit's supplier consortium has told Finnish utility Teollisuuden Voima Oyj (TVO). Regular production had previously been scheduled to begin at the end of 2018.

Olkiluoto 3 (left) is sited next to TVO's two operating Olkiluoto units (Image: TVO)

TVO said the plant's supplier had been preparing a schedule review for the project completion "for some time". Work has now reached a stage where the supplier can confirm the main milestones, the company said. The previous schedule was provided in September 2014.

The latest schedule sees grid connection taking place in December 2018 with the start of regular electricity production in May 2019. The unit's ramp-up program will see it produce 2-4 TWh of electricity, at varying power levels between those dates.

TVO's Olkiluoto 3 (OL3) project director Jouni Silvennoinen said the company was "very disappointed" by the additional delay.

"There is still substantial work to be accomplished in the OL3 EPR project and it is essential that all the necessary technical, human and financial resources are allocated to the project. The restructuring of the French nuclear industry must not compromise this," he said.

Cold functional tests began at Olkiluoto 3 in June, with hot functional tests scheduled for later this year. TVO said that although the testing program was progressing many important tests remain to be carried out.

"Our objective remains the prompt completion of the OL3 EPR project. TVO continues to be committed to supporting the turn-key plant supplier," Silvennoinen said.

The consortium of Areva GmbH, Areva NP SAS and Siemens AG began construction of Olkiluoto 3 in 2005 under a turnkey contract signed with TVO in late 2003. Completion of the 1600 MWe reactor was originally scheduled for 2009, but the project has suffered various delays and setbacks.

TVO in September filed an appeal against the European Commission's approval for the French government to inject €4.5 billion ($5.4 billion) into Areva as part of the group's restructuring. TVO claimed the plan does not provide sufficient guarantees that the Olkiluoto 3 EPR project will be completed. Bernard Fontana, CEO of French engineering company Areva NP subsequently said that the Commission's approval in January had been made on the understanding there would be no changes to the Olkiluoto 3 project.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News