Terms for Olkiluoto EPR completion agreed

18 May 2021

Finnish utility Teollisuuden Voima Oyj (TVO) announced yesterday it has reached a consensus with the Areva‚ąíSiemens consortium regarding the terms of the Olkiluoto 3 EPR project completion. The OL3 plant, construction of which began in 2005, is scheduled to be connected to the grid in October this year and to begin regular electricity production in February 2022.

The Olkiluoto 3 EPR (Image: TVO)

TVO said it had been in negotiations with the Areva−Siemens consortium, as well as the Areva Group parent company Areva SA, since last summer on the terms of the completion of the project. In addition, the Areva companies have been preparing a financial solution that would ensure the necessary funding for the companies to complete the OL3 project.

The key issues are: the Areva companies' trust mechanism, established in the Global Settlement Agreement of 2018, is to be replenished with about EUR600 million (USD733 million) as of the beginning of January 2021; both parties are to cover their own costs as of July 2021 until end of February 2022; in the event that the plant supplier consortium companies do not complete the OL3 project before the end of February 2022, they would pay an additional compensation for delays, depending on the date of completion.

A final agreement is to be signed by the end of this month, after which certain conditions have to be met for the agreement to enter into force.

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. Construction of Olkiluoto 3 began in 2005. Completion of the reactor was originally scheduled for 2009, but the project has had various delays and setbacks.

Fuel has now been loaded into the core of Olkiluoto 3. The reactor is now in a commissioning phase lasting several months during which TVO will conduct a new series of hot functional tests to verify the plant's systems work correctly. The previous hot functional test - carried out without nuclear fuel in the reactor - was completed in 2018.

"We have now reached a consensus with the plant supplier consortium regarding the main principles of the project's completion, which create the prerequisites for starting regular electricity production in February 2022," said TVO President and CEO Jarmo Tanhua. "The nuclear commissioning phase of a new nuclear power plant unit is an important and extremely interesting period. We are now determinedly advancing towards connecting the plant unit to the grid in October 2021, when the plant unit is to produce electricity for the national grid for the first time."

Researched and written by World Nuclear News