Finnish power utility Teollisuuden Voima (TVO) said in a statement on 24 November that it is seeking detailed information about the restructuring of French nuclear group Areva and its potential impact on the EPR construction project at unit 3 of the Olkiluoto NPP (OL3). TVO said it “urgently requires this information” with a view to securing assurances that all necessary financial and other resources, particularly related to the EPR technology, will be allocated to the completion and long-term operation of Olkiluoto-3. “This information from the plant supplier and commitment of the technology vendor is a prerequisite for TVO’s consent for the changes impacting the project,” the statement said, without specifying the changes.
Earlier in November, Electricite de France (EDF) signed an agreement to buy Areva’s nuclear reactor unit as part of a rescue package for Areva agreed earlier this year. TVO said: “Stripped of its nuclear plant technology-related operations and knowhow, Areva may not be adequately funded and resourced when its technical expertise and vital human resources are being transferred to the so-called ‘New Areva NP’, which is expected to be bought by EDF.” TVO said it acknowledged the need for restructuring, but expects that all supplier liabilities towards TVO are “respected and covered in a responsible manner to the extent they are based on the plant contract”.
The separation of project ownership from the resources needed for the completion and commissioning of OL3 EPR is not responsible behaviour from a nuclear technology vendor, TVO said. In the statement, TVO president and chief executive officer Jarmo Tanhua said Olkiluoto-3 must be given an equal position with other EPR projects supplied by the French nuclear industry. The OL3 EPR was procured as a fixed-price turnkey project from a supplier consortium formed by Areva GmbH, AREVA NP SAS and Siemens AG, for delivery in the spring of 2009. Currently OL3 is scheduled to begin operatingat the end of 2018, nine years behind the original schedule.