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Nuclear power: Finnish reactor Olkiluoto 3 produces electricity later than planned

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The new third reactor block of the Finnish nuclear power plant Olkiluoto will not produce electricity as planned at the end of this month, but only in the first half of February. The reactor will generate regular electricity from June 14, 2022, the operator announced to TVO.

as the reason for the delay the operator indicates an emergency shutdown two weeks ago. The reasons for the shutdown were determined on January 14 and the error – which was not mentioned further – was corrected. At the moment the test production program is running normally. In August 2021, the date for power production had already been postponed by three months because the turbine suppliers Areva and Siemens had to carry out further inspection and overhaul work.

In the test production phase of a nuclear power plant, the power plant and its safety systems are tested, TVO explains. This is to ensure that plant operation runs according to plan. In the course of February, the reactor should initially have an output of 400 MW, and in mid-June it should be around 1650 MW

Originally, the European Pressurized Water Reactor (EPR) Olkiluoto 3, which was built from 2005, should have been supplying electricity as early as 2009. However, numerous problems and increased construction costs repeatedly led to delays. In December 2021, the reactor reached criticality for the first time. This is the first time a new reactor has been put into operation in Finland in over 40 years. In Europe last 15 years ago. The two reactors in Loviisa have been on the grid since 1977 and 1980 respectively, and the two already existing in Olkiluoto since 1978 and 1980.

In 2010, the Finnish parliament decided to build more nuclear power plants. A fourth block was originally supposed to be built in Olkiluoto, but the project was dropped. In the municipality of Pyhäjoki, the Hanhikivi nuclear power plant is to be built by 2024, which will probably cost around 7.5 billion euros. The Olkiluoto nuclear waste storage facility, previously used for low-level and medium-level radioactive waste, is to be expanded for high-level radioactive waste.

In block 2 of the Olkiluoto nuclear power plant, an incident occurred in December 2020 after an emergency cooling system had been switched off as planned in order to be able to carry out maintenance work. The incident was classified as a Level 0 to Level 7 on the International Nuclear Event Scale (INES).


(anw)

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