Further reactor delays

25 April 2008

Construction of Finland's Olkiluoto 3 nuclear power plant has fallen further behind schedule and is now not expected to begin commercial operation until mid 2010.

The news of further delays on the € 3 billion European Pressurised water Reactor (EPR) project was announced by the plant's owner Teollisuuden Voima Oy (TVO) ahead of a report from Finish regulators.

The Finnish Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority (STUK) launched an investigation to assess compliance of the construction phase with safety requirements.

According to the STUK report, the project's consortium, comprising Areva of France and Germany's Siemens, “have not fully complied with expectations concerning a good safety culture”.

The report also concluded that the consortium failed to allow enough time for detailed design work, or provide sufficient guidance for sub-contractors on the scheme.

The report also said, “The problems detected have hampered the progress of the project and increased pressures on the schedule of the subsequent construction phases.”

A statement on TVO's website said that concreting processes have continued on the OL3 site throughout the summer and so far 55000 m3 of concrete has been placed.

The company also confirmed that the project is currently running one year behind schedule but hoped the plant would start generating electricity by the end of 2009, with commercial operation starting in the second quarter of 2010.

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