Ongoing turbine works further delay Olkiluoto 3 start-up

23 August 2021

Regular electricity production at the Olkiluoto 3 (OL3) EPR is now expected to begin in June 2022 due to extended turbine overhaul and inspection works, Finnish utility Teollisuuden Voima Oyj (TVO) announced. The extension of those works has already led to a one-month delay in the plant's start-up.

The turbine hall at the Olkiluoto 3 EPR (Image: TVO)

In May, TVO reached a consensus with the plant supplier - the Areva GmbH, Areva NP SAS and Siemens AG consortium - regarding the terms of the Olkiluoto 3 project completion. At that time, it said the OL3 plant was scheduled to be connected to the grid in October this year and to begin regular electricity production in February 2022.

However, at the end of July, TVO said the start of regular electricity production had been delayed by one month to March 2022 because of extra turbine overhaul and inspection works.

"During the turbine inspection works, the plant supplier has decided to extend the overhaul to all three low-pressure turbines in order to perform further inspections on them," TVO said on 20 August.

This additional work will add a further three-month delay to the reactor's start-up, with first criticality now expected in January 2022, initial electricity production in February 2022 and regular electricity production in June 2022.

The Areva-Siemens consortium is constructing the OL3 plant under a fixed-price turnkey contract. They have joint liability for the contractual obligations until the end of the guarantee period of the unit. Construction of Olkiluoto 3 began in 2005. Completion of the reactor was originally scheduled for 2009, but the project has had various delays and setbacks.

Fuel has now been loaded into the core of OL3. The reactor is now in a commissioning phase during which time TVO will conduct a new series of hot functional tests to verify the plant's systems work correctly. Initial hot functional tests - carried out without nuclear fuel in the reactor - were completed in 2018.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News