The Finnish government on 20 September agreed to extend until 2038 the operating licences for units 1 and 2 at the Olkiluoto NPP, owner-operator Teollisuuden Voima Oyj (TVO) said in a statement.
This follows a regulatory decision in May which declared the plants to be safe, that their operation conforms with legal requirements, and that TVO has the expertise and resources to operate the units. The Finnish Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority, Stuk, added that waste management procedures put in place by TVO were “sufficient and appropriate”.
Currently Olkiluoto 1&2 (both boiling water reactors) supply about a sixth of Finland’s electricity, TVO said. However, when the Olkiluoto 3 EPR begins operating the three units will supply for around 30% of national demand. Olkiluoto 3 is scheduled for commercial operation in September 2019.
Olkiluoto 1 and 2 began commercial operation in 1979 and 1982. The new licences will replace TVO's current operating licences, issued in 1998, which are valid until the end of this year.
TVO was also given a licence to use current onsite storage for the interim storage of used fuel and other radioactive wastes generated by the continued operation of the two BWR units.
The new operating licence does not cover the final disposal facilities, which will require their own licences. However, the licence does permit TVO to use the Olkiluoto site to process and store LILW, along with other radioactive waste, generated elsewhere.
TVO applied for the operating licence extension in January 2017. The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment requested comments from several ministries, authorities and communities. Some 50 local governments, other organisations and private individuals ofered their opinion.
Photo: Inside the OL2 reactor core (Photo:TVO)