Olkiluoto 3 Gets Go-Ahead On Operations Permit

The long-delayed Unit 3 at the Olkiluoto NPP in Finland can be granted a permit for operations, although a few technical issues need to be addressed, the country’s nuclear power regulator said.

Olkiluoto NPPThe Finnish Nuclear Safety Authority said on Feb. 25 that the plant that is now 11 years behind schedule was ready to be granted an operating permit. However, a vibration in the pressuriser surge line in the primary circuit needs to be addressed.

”Besides the technical and structural safety, also the preparedness of the organization and employees to operate the plant,” has been deemed ready for operations, the regulator said.

The application for an operational start was filed in April 2016. Filed with the Finnish Ministry of Employment, the application is 130,000-pages long. It includes appraisals of the plant and the financial status of the operator TVO, which is not touting the start of 40 years of electricity production from the plant, although start up has been delayed recently from this year to 2020. TVO says the plant will allow the company to meet a third of Finland’s electricity demand through nuclear power.

Olkiluoto Unit 3 is a 1,600MWe European Pressurized Reactor that is expected to meet about 15 percent of the country’s demand for electricity, Nuclear Engineering International reported.

Construction on the unit began in 2005. Once it is operational, it will be the fifth nuclear reator ion operations in Flinland, joining OL1, OL2 and two VVER-440 reactors at the Loviisa NPP.

A Russian-designed plant is planned for Finland’s sixth reactor, slated for the Hanhikivi site in northern Finland.

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