TVO Looking For Cause Of OL3 Feedwater Pump Damage

Finish utility Teollisuuden Voima Oyj (TVO) said an investigation into the cause of cracks found in the Olkiluoto 3 EPR (OL3) feedwater pumps a week ago would continue in “several laboratories.”

Cracks found in OL3 pumpsThe feedwater pumps are oversized pumps commonly used in power plants, but scaled to meet the OL3 specifications.

TVO said the schedule for continuing the test production program will be updated once the reasons for the damage and the repair method have been confirmed.”

“There is still no certainty about the origin mechanism of the cracks found in the impellers of the pumps. Cracks were discovered during repair and maintenance work,” the power company said.

The cracks found are a few centimeters long and were found in all four of the OL3 feedwater pumps. However, they do not represent an increased risk to plant safety, the company said.

The cracks in the pumps were discovered only 11 months after the OL3 reached first criticality. The 1600 MWe pressurized water reactor was built by an Areva-Siemens consortium, achieved initial criticality in December 2021 and was connected to the grid in March.

Construction was marred by frequent delays and cost overruns. Construction on OL3 began in 2005 with the expected completion date of 2009.

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