Continuing improvements for Finland's Loviisa

11 January 2016

Finnish utility Fortum is continuing with its extensive upgrade programme at its 1020MWe Loviisa nuclear plant. The two 510MWe units, both Russian design VVER-440 V-213 reactors, were commissioned in 1977 and 1980.

The ongoing investment programme has involved renewal of the automation system, upgrading of turbine generators and installation of the backup cooling system, which is independent of seawater and the diesel fuel storage and distribution system. Both investments improve safety in the event of extreme natural phenomena and in potential oil spills in the Gulf of Finland. With these improvements, the plant can operate without outside assistance for at least three days, Fortum said.

Loviisa Power Plant deputy director Thomas Buddas said the investment programme currently is the most extensive in the plant's history. The continuous improvement done at the power plant secures safe, reliable and profitable energy generation for the duration of the (current) operating licences, i.e. until 2027 (unit 1) and 2030 (unit 2).

Fortum said that it invested approximately €80m ($87.26m) last year, about the same as in 2014, and expects to continue significant investment in the coming years. In 2015, the Loviisa NPP generated a total of 8.47TWh of power, accounting to about 13% of Finland's total power generation. Fortum said the station's 92.9% load factor was among the best in the world for pressurised water reactor plants.

Loviisa 1's load factor was 92.7% and Loviisa-2's 93.1%. Loviisa-1's production output was the fourth highest in the history of the plant. Both units underwent outages during which one quarter of the fuel in both units was replaced. Unit 1 was out of production for 21 days and unit 2 for 17 days. In addition to scheduled maintenance and fuel replacement, the turbine reheaters were replaced on both units.

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