It is “only” twelve years late… The Finnish EPR nuclear reactor at Olkiluoto-3 was commissioned for the first time on Saturday, the plant operator announced. “Today is Saturday 12th March 2022 at 10am GMT (11 a.m. French time), the reactor was connected to the national grid at the level of 103 MW,” operator TVO said in a statement.
When power generation reaches its normal level, which is expected in July, the reactor will supply about 14% of Finland’s electricity with 1,650 megawatts, the plant operator said.
The Olkiluoto-3 reactor will become one of the most powerful reactors in Europe. Two other reactors are in operation at Yurajoki on the west coast of Finland.
The French-origin EPR was the first nuclear reactor purchased in Europe after the Chernobyl disaster, which led to a revision of the entire approach to nuclear safety. It is reputed to provide more power and better protection. But EPRs manufactured in Finland, France and the United Kingdom have faced delays and financial slippage.
In the case of Olkiluoto, the delay led to disputes between TVO and Areva over compensation. In the United Kingdom, Hinkley Point in the south of England has postponed the start of electricity generation by six months, now scheduled for mid-2026. In France, the Flamanville EPR should have entered service in 2012 … Its commissioning is now scheduled no earlier than 2023.
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