Feedwater pump damage delays Finnish EPR commissioning

19 October 2022

The start of regular electricity production at the Olkiluoto 3 EPR in Finland, currently scheduled for December, is likely to be delayed after damage was discovered in the internals of the feedwater pumps located in the plant's turbine island during maintenance and inspection work.

Olkiluoto 3 (Image: TVO)

In the feedwater pumps, water from the feedwater tank is pumped into the steam generators. Operator Teollisuuden Voima Oyj (TVO) said the damage detected at the pumps has no impact on nuclear safety.

The company said the Areva-Siemens plant supplier consortium had informed it that the schedule impact of the feedwater pumps' damage is not yet known.

However, TVO said the damage will "most likely have an effect on the continuation of Olkiluoto 3's nuclear commissioning and the start of regular electricity production. A schedule estimate is to be completed during the upcoming days."

The Areva-Siemens consortium constructed the Olkiluoto 3 (OL3) plant under a fixed-price turnkey contract. They have joint liability for the contractual obligations until the end of the guarantee period of the unit. Construction of OL3 began in 2005, with completion of the reactor originally scheduled for 2009, but the project has had various delays and setbacks.

OL3 attained first criticality on 21 December last year and was connected to the grid on 12 March. The 1600 MWe pressurised water reactor is currently in an ongoing test production phase. It was operated at full capacity for the first time in late-September.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News