The Olkiluoto nuclear power plant in Finland. (Photo: TVO)
Teollisuuden Voima Oyj (TVO), owner and operator of the Olkiluoto nuclear power plant in Finland, has resumed Olkiluoto-3’s test production phase, following completion of maintenance and repair work at the new reactor’s turbine island, the company announced this week.
TVO had announced in June a delay to the unit’s commercial start of some three months—from September to December—after material that had detached from the steam guide plates was found in the turbine’s steam reheater in May, necessitating repair work and a halt to testing.
A computer-generated rendering of the Sizewell site on the Suffolk coast. Sizewell A and B are to the left and center (respectively) in this image; the section to the right is the Sizewell C area. (Image: EDF Energy)
The U.K. government has granted a development consent order (DCO) for EDF Energy’s proposed Sizewell C plant near Leiston in Suffolk, moving the new nuclear build project closer to a reality.
Nuclear New Build (NBB) Generation Company, an EDF Energy subsidiary, submitted the DCO application to the government’s Planning Inspectorate in May 2020, setting out the range of measures the project would implement to mitigate construction effects and maximize community benefits. The Planning Inspectorate accepted the application in June 2020 and completed its examination in October 2021. Recommendations were made to the secretary of state for business, energy, and industrial strategy this February.
Finland’s Olkiluoto-3. (Photo: TVO)
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.
Hinkley Point C’s Unit 2, in March of this year. (Photo: EDF Energy)
The target date for the start of electricity generation at Hinkley Point C’s Unit 1 reactor has been moved back to June 2027, following the completion of a schedule and cost review of the new nuclear build project, EDF announced last week.
While the review considered the main aspects of the project to construct two 1,630-MWe EPRs in Somerset, England, the schedule and cost of electromechanical works and of final testing were not examined, according to the utility.
Finland’s Olkiluoto-3. (Photo: TVO)
Europe’s first EPR, Unit 3 at Finland’s Olkiluoto nuclear power plant, was connected to the nation’s grid on March 12, Teollisuuden Voima Oyj (TVO), the facility’s owner and operator, has announced.
Olkiluoto-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.)
[Click to view full image] Cutaway of the HPR1000 design. (Image: CGN)
The Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) and the Environment Agency (EA) have found the UK HPR1000 reactor suitable for construction in the United Kingdom, the regulators jointly announced last week.
The first steel ring section of the Unit 2 reactor building was installed in November 2021. (Photo: EDF Energy)
The United Kingdom’s Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) has granted permission for the start of bulk mechanical, electrical, and HVAC component installation work at the Hinkley Point C site in Somerset, England, where two 1,630-MWe EPRs are under construction. Thus far, most of the activity at Hinkley Point C has been in the field of civil construction.
This new phase, according to ONR, will require a workforce of up to 4,000 during peak times, including welders, pipe fitters, and electricians. The work is to be accomplished over a three-year period, with NNB Genco—the EDF Energy subsidiary set up in 2009 to build and operate Hinkley Point C—teaming up with four suppliers: Balfour Beatty Bailey, Doosan, Cavendish, and Altrad.
The Flamanville nuclear power plant in France.
France’s Flamanville-3 project, plagued by schedule setbacks and cost overruns for well over a decade (construction of the unit commenced in December 2007), will be delayed a bit longer and cost a bit more.
Électricité de France announced yesterday that fuel loading at the 1,600-MWe EPR has been pushed back from the end of this year to the second quarter of 2023. The delay increases the project’s cost at completion from €12.4 billion (about $14.2 billion) to €12.7 billion (about $14.5 billion), more than four times the initial estimate of €3.3 billion, according to EDF.
A screen capture from the meeting that discussed the pathway to net-zero emissions by 2050: (From left) Leah Parks, Giulia Bisconti, Nicholas McMurray, Josh Freed, and Laura Hermann. Panelists who joined the meeting virtually were Sama Bilbao y León and Edie Greaves.
The Thursday morning executive session at last week’s 2021 ANS Winter Meeting and Technology Expo brought together a group of influential nuclear-policy experts from the United States and abroad to discuss the roles nuclear can play in smoothing the pathway to net-zero emissions by 2050. Specific topics explored included the Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM) and its Nuclear Innovation Clean Energy (NICE) Future initiative, as well as last month’s COP26 climate conference in Glasgow. The session was moderated by Leah Parks, a Nuclear Regulatory Commission risk analyst and 2020 ANS Presidential Citation awardee.
The Taishan nuclear power plant, in China’s Guangdong Province. Photo: EDF Group
Unit 1 at the Taishan nuclear power plant in China has been shut down to examine fuel rod damage and conduct maintenance, China General Nuclear Power Group (CGN) reported last Friday.
Taishan nuclear power plant. (Photo: EDF Energy)
If Taishan-1 were operating in France, Électricité de France would shut down the reactor in order to assess the situation in progress and stop its development, according to a July 22 press release from EDF. The 1,660-MWe French-designed EPR—the recent subject of sensational press coverage of fuel rod failures—operates in China’s Guangdong Province.
Taishan’s Unit 1 was the world’s first EPR to be connected to the grid. (Photo: CGN)
The facts, once known, were uncomplicated. At Taishan-1 in China—the first Framatome EPR to be commissioned—operators detected an increase of fission product gases within the primary coolant circuit sometime after the reactor’s first refueling outage in October 2020. The cladding on a handful of the more than 60,000 fuel rods in the reactor had been breached, posing an operational issue—but not a public safety issue—for the plant.
A screen capture from the video "Finland Might Have Solved Nuclear Power’s Biggest Problem" on YouTube.
A new video, Finland Might Have Solved Nuclear Power’s Biggest Problem, debuted on YouTube this morning and has been seen already by a large number of viewers. The video takes a look at Finland’s efforts to lessen its reliance on foreign energy and meet its goal of carbon neutrality by 2035 with nuclear power, as well as to provide a solution to the problem of spent nuclear fuel.