Finnish EPR reaches full capacity for first time

30 September 2022

Power output from the 1600 MWe Olkiluoto 3 EPR in Finland has reached 100% as commissioning tests of the reactor continue, operator Teollisuuden Voima Oyj (TVO) has announced. Regular electricity production is scheduled to start in December.

The Olkiluoto 3 EPR (Image: TVO)

"The plant unit is now the most powerful nuclear power plant unit in Europe and the third most powerful globally," TVO said.

About 40% of Finland's electricity is currently produced by the Olkiluoto plant. Olkiluoto units 1 and 2 produce approximately 21% of the total current electricity demand, with Olkiluoto 3 (OL3) producing about 19%, the company said.

TVO noted that significant tests and irregular electricity production will follow during the unit's ongoing commissioning.

Ten sets of tests impacting OL3's power level remain, it said, all of which, excluding one, have already been carried out at lower power levels. In some of the upcoming tests, the unit's production is either intentionally interrupted or the power level is lowered.

A completely new test yet to be completed is the so-called Fault Ride Through, carried out together with transmission system operator Fingrid, in which a short circuit is caused in the main grid's test area. In addition, multiple tests will be conducted at full power which have no impact on the unit's power level.

"Today, we have reached an historically important figure on our production monitor," said TVO Senior Vice President for Electricity Production Marjo Mustonen. "We will now focus on completing the tests according to the commissioning programme and reaching regular electricity production in December."

The Areva-Siemens consortium constructed the 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 Olkiluoto 3 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.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News