Teollisuuden Voima Oyj (TVO), owner and operator of Finland’s Olkiluoto nuclear power plant, has announced a further delay to the start of regular electricity generation at Unit 3. Commercial operation is now projected to begin this December, rather than the previously announced September. A report from Reuters puts the date at December 10.
According to TVO, material that had detached from the steam guide plates was found in the turbine’s steam reheater last month, requiring inspection and repair work.
“The repair work will last until the end of July,” the company stated in a June 15 news release. “The plant unit’s test production program and electricity production can only be continued after the completion of this repair work. Furthermore, additional time has been reserved in the schedule for the plant unit’s upcoming tests and their analyses, based on previous experiences from the test production phase.”
Background: Olkiluoto-3 was connected to Finland’s power grid on March 12 of this year. At the time, TVO projected that commercial operation would begin in late July. In April, however, the company announced a postponement to September, due to inspection and repair needs regarding the cooling system of the unit’s generator.
Europe’s first EPR, the Framatome-supplied, 1,600-MWe Generation III+ Unit 3 is also the first new Finnish reactor in four decades and one of only three new reactors in Europe in the past 15 years. (Romania’s Cernavoda-2 began supplying electricity to the grid in August 2007, and Belarus’s Belarusian-1 in November 2020.) Once up and running, Olkiluoto-3 is expected to produce approximately 14 percent of Finland’s electricity demand.
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.