Olkiluoto 3 delayed beyond 2014

17 July 2012

A further delay in commissioning the EPR under construction at Olkiluoto has been announced by Teollisuuden Voima Oyj (TVO). It attributed the delay to the Areva-Siemens consortium, which counter claimed TVO has failed to fully commit itself to resolving outstanding issues.

Olkiluoto 3 - 21 May 2012 (TVO)
Olkiluoto 3 (Image: TVO)

In December 2011, TVO announced that it expected Olkiluoto 3 to begin operating in August 2014. It now says that, based on information provided by the Areva-Siemens consortium, the plant unit "will not be ready for regular electricity production in 2014."

The civil construction works of Olkiluoto 3 have mainly been completed and the major components of the nuclear island - such as the reactor pressure vessel (RPV), pressurizer and steam generators - have all been installed. Welding work of the primary coolant circuit piping has also been completed. Meanwhile, installation of the internal parts of the RPV as well as equipment for the vessel's lid continue.

TVO noted, "Planning, documentation and licensing of the reactor plant automation are not yet completed," and complained that these "have not progressed according to the supplier's schedules." TVO senior vice president for corporate relations Anna Lehtiranta said, "Even though we are not pleased with the situation and the fact that there have been repeated challenges with the time scheduling, works are progressing and solutions for remaining instrumentation and control (I&C) items are fixed step-by-step."

The utility said that Areva-Siemens are constructing the 1600 MWe plant under a fixed-price turnkey contract and therefore the consortium is responsible for the time schedule of the project. It expects the supplier "to update the overall schedule and provide a new confirmation and analysis of the completion date, as well as clarification of the measures needed to keep up with the schedule."

TVO said that it "continues to provide support to the plant supplier to complete the project as soon as possible."

However, Areva said that TVO agreed in December 2011 to establish a shared process to consolidate the Olkiluoto 3 schedule. "This process, aiming at optimizing the final phases of the project, required intense coordination of the consortium partners and their client TVO," Areva noted. "In particular, the consortium had agreed with TVO on specific I&C tasks to be performed together in order to optimize this sensitive and crucial milestones of the project."

"It appears that TVO has not been able to demonstrate so far a clear operational organization to support the main prerequisites to this success," Areva stated.

On 6 July, the Areva-Siemens consortium informed TVO that plans for the completion and commissioning of Olkiluoto 3 "had to be reassessed" and that TVO would therefore bear responsibility for any further delay in the schedule.

The consortium "calls for its client's full commitment to enable a clear future path for this project."

Areva-Siemens filed a request for arbitration with the International Chamber of Commerce in December 2008 concerning the delay of Olkiluoto and the related costs. Its latest monetary claim, including indirect items and interest, is some €1.9 billion ($2.3 billion). TVO has made a counterclaim which currently amounts to €1.4 billion ($1.7 billion).

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News