The Olkiluoto 3 reactor is connected to the national grid, 13 years behind schedule

The third unit of the has finally started commercial operations. The owner of the plant, (TVO), says the unit was connected to the national electricity grid at noon on Saturday. It is Finland’s Fifth Nuclear Reactor.

Initially, a unit called OL3 will generate 103 megawatts of electricity. During a trial period of about four months, power will be gradually increased to 1,600 megawatts and full capacity will be reached in July.

The unit is expected to cover about 14 percent of Finland’s electricity consumption, which will bring much-needed stimulus as the sharp rise in energy prices and declining Russian imports.

"OL3 is a significant addition to clean electricity production in Finland, accounting for more than 90 percent. At the same time, the need to electricity will fall by less than half," said the director of electricity generation, Marjo Mustonenin its statement on Saturday.

The first EPR reactor outside China

Olkiluoto 3 was originally scheduled to start more than 12 years ago, in 2009, but was plagued by long technical delays, legal disputes and cost overruns.

Its total cost is estimated at almost € 11 billion, making it one of the most expensive buildings in the .

OL3 was to be the world’s first reactor under the French EPR plan, but two reactors of the same type, known as pressurized water reactors, began operations in China in 2018 and 2019. Two others, in France and England, are expected to move to the grid. in 2023 and 2026.

The Olkiluoto nuclear power plant, whose two reactors started operations in 1979 and 1982, is located in Eurajoki on the west coast of Finland, about 50 kilometers south of Pori.

The could operate until 2050, doubts

On 3 March, , which owns Finland’s only second nuclear power plant in the south-east of Loviisa, applied for an extension of its license until 2050.

Loviisa’s two Soviet-built reactors were commissioned in 1977 and 1980. Together, they generate about 10 percent of the electricity consumed in Finland. Regulators have indicated that the extension is likely to be approved.

Fortum is also a co-owner of another nuclear project, the Fennovoima plant planned for the West Coast, which is being built by the Russian state-owned Rosatom Group. The plant has not been granted a building permit.

February 25, the day after the Russian occupation of , Minister of (Cen) said he does not propose to grant a permit for a plant whose key parts are to be built in eastern Ukraine.

Source: The Nordic Page

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