TVO awaits revised schedule for OL3 commissioning

03 July 2020

Finnish utility Teollisuuden Voima Oyj (TVO) expects to receive a revised schedule in August from the Areva-Siemens consortium for the commissioning of the Olkiluoto 3 (OL3) EPR. Fuel loading, which had been planned for last month, has been delayed by among other things the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Olkiluoto 3 EPR, pictured in September 2016 (Image: TVO)

In April, the utility said measures put in place at the plant to prevent the spread of coronavirus "may have significantly added uncertainty to the progress of the project." It said at that time it had been informed by the Areva-Siemens consortium that fuel loading would not take place as planned in June. The start of regular electricity production, scheduled for March 2021, could also be delayed. Areva-Siemens said it would update the schedule for the unit as soon as the impact of the coronavirus pandemic was known.

"The new management of Areva, the plant supplier party, is preparing a financial solution to complete the project according to an upcoming schedule," TVO said. "TVO is also negotiating with the plant supplier Areva-Siemens consortium on the terms of completing the OL3 project. The rebaseline schedule work of the plant supplier Areva-Siemens consortium is still in progress and is being actively taken forward."

TVO also noted that the new management of Areva actively continues working on a plan, with support of all parties, to secure funding until the end of the OL3 project. "TVO has participated in the discussion of the Areva-Siemens consortium's measures and has a positive attitude towards their progress."

The OL3 plant supplier consortium - Areva GmbH, Areva NP SAS and Siemens AG - is constructing the unit under a fixed-price turnkey contract. They have joint liability for the contractual obligations until the end of the guarantee period of the unit. The consortium began construction of Olkiluoto 3 in 2005. Completion of the reactor was originally scheduled for 2009, but the project has had various delays and setbacks.

TVO was granted an operating licence by the Finnish government for OL3 in March last year, but fuel loading has been delayed because of slow progress with the system tests and problems with spare part deliveries. TVO applied in April this year to the Finnish nuclear regulator for permission to load fuel into the reactor but said it estimated that it would take a few months to obtain the permit.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News