TVO: Welding won't delay Olkiluoto 3

13 May 2009

Teollisuuden Voima Oyj (TVO) denied reports that construction work at unit 3 of the Olkiluoto nuclear power plant in Finland had been suspended due to faulty weld seams in the main coolant pipes. Media reports had said that the country's Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority (Stuk) had ordered a halt on welding on the primary cooling circuit at the plant following the discovery of small cracks on the outer surface of the pipes. Cracks of 1-2 mm in length and up to 1.8 mm in depth were indeed discovered in the 76 mm-thick pipes, but TVO has said that the defective welds had been discovered in the pipes at the manufacturing plant in France, where the pipes remain, and that construction work at Olkiluoto had not been disrupted. TVO said that the weld seams could be easily repaired, with one of the pipes having already been repaired. The company said the weld defects will not impact the project schedule.