Olkiluoto 3’s full electricity production will be delayed again

The plant Teollisuuden (TVO) has announced that the trial operation of the Olkiluoto 3 reactor (OL3) will be suspended for more than a month.

The delay means that full electricity production will not start until December, and not in September as previously planned. The unit is expected to cover almost one-sixth of Finland’s electricity needs.

By Jukka LeskeläThe third reactor at Olkiluoto, the CEO of Suomen Energia’s industry association, will play a major role in Finland’s electricity supply, especially when electricity imports from ended a month ago.

"It is important to get the plant up and for the winter. It is hoped that this new announced schedule will remain unchanged. I think this fall will be overcome, but we are getting tighter all the time. If there are other significant failures in the system, either in the electricity units or in the production units, the situation will be severe because we have a shortage of Russian imports and no gas is available for electricity production as before," Widow said.

According to Leskelä, if the plant is not in operation by Christmas, it may affect the adequacy of electricity supply.

"If there is a hard winter, prices are really high and there may be challenges in electricity supply," The widow warned.

The interruption of the reactor’s test operation will affect the price of electricity, as the full production of a reactor the size of OL3 would lower the wholesale market price.

"The delay is not large in relation to the duration of the whole project, so in that sense the financial impact is not large. But as we live in a time of high prices, we would have liked the plant to be operational as soon as possible," Widow said.

However, he pointed out that OL3 will continue to generate a significant amount of electricity when the test operation continues, probably in late July.

Loose material detected in the turbine

"In May, a foreign substance detached from the steam guide plates was found in the turbine steam heater," TVO said late Wednesday.

According to the plant supplier’s reports, the repairs will last until the end of July. The plant unit’s pilot production program and power generation can only continue after this repair work, it said.

The trial phase is scheduled for completion in December 2022, when regular electricity generation will begin, according to TVO.

Under the agreement, the plant supplier, the Siemens- consortium, is obliged to carry out the unit. In March, the Olkiluoto 3 reactor started generating electricity for the national grid in a low-level test run.

At that point, regular electricity generation was expected to begin in July. In April, it was moved to September.

The 1.6 gigawatt European pressurized reactor (EPR) was granted a building permit in 2005. It was originally scheduled for completion in 2009, but has faced seemingly endless technical problems, delays, cost overruns and legal disputes.

Last month, plans to build ’s new nuclear power plant in , Northern Ostrobothnia, were rejected. It was to be built by a Russian state-owned company.

Source: The Nordic Page

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