First criticality reached at Olkiluoto-3

December 21, 2021, 12:02PMNuclear News
Olkiluoto-3 (Photo: TVO)

The long-delayed Unit 3 at Finland’s Olkiluoto nuclear power plant has achieved initial criticality, plant owner and operator Teollisuuden Voima Oyj (TVO) announced this morning. The reactor, a 1600-MWe Generation III+ EPR supplied by Framatome, started up at 3:22 a.m. local time.

TVO had received the go-ahead for the unit’s startup the previous week from Finland’s Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority.

Grid connection for Olkiluoto-3 is expected at the end of January 2022, with commercial operation slated for June. Once regular power generation has commenced, the reactor will produce about 14 percent of Finland’s electricity, according to TVO.

Located in western Finland, Olkiluoto also houses two 890-MWe boiling water reactors. Units 1 and 2 began commercial operation in October 1979 and July 1982, respectively.

The official words: “This moment will forever be remembered as a demonstration of persistent work for the commissioning of our new plant unit,” said Marjo Mustonen, TVO’s senior vice president for electricity production. “It reflects strong nuclear professionalism and a will to make Finland’s greatest act for the climate a reality.”

Bernard Fontana, chief executive officer of Framatome, added: “We commend the TVO teams for this significant milestone, and we thank the Framatome and Areva project teams that persevered to reach it. This milestone paves the way for safe, reliable, low-carbon electricity generation to the residents of Finland. From the fuel manufactured in our plants to the long-term operational and outage services that Framatome will supply to OL3 in the future, we are honored to support this unit in reaching its full potential.”

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