OL3 operation delayed at least to end of January

24 November 2022

Finnish power company Teollisuuden Voima Oyj (TVO), owner-operator of the Olkiluoto NPP, has said that the investigation into the damage at Olkiluoto 3’s (OL3’s) feedwater pumps will continue for some weeks, and its impact on the schedule cannot be estimated.

According to information from the Areva-Siemens plant supplier consortium, electricity production will resume on 11 December at the earliest, and as such regular electricity production would then start at the end of January 2023.

A more detailed investigation as well as analysis of the root cause of the cracks found in the impellers of the feedwater pumps at OL3’s turbine island is continuing. The plant supplier has announced that the final results should be available during December at the latest. The possible schedule impact will be communicated as soon as the results of the investigation are available. As the investigation continues, maintenance work is being carried out on the plant unit’s turbine.

TVO said it is “is actively taking part in advancing the investigation on the feedwater pumps together with the plant supplier”. In the feedwater pumps located in the plant’s turbine island, water from the feedwater tank is pumped into the steam generators. The damage detected at the pumps has no impact on nuclear safety.

The plant supplier is obligated to complete the plant unit in accordance with the Plant Contract and settlement agreements.

The OL3 EPR plant supplier consortium is constructing the plant unit under a fixed-price turnkey contract. The supplier consortium companies, AREVA GmbH, AREVA NP SAS, and Siemens AG, have joint and several liability for the contractual obligations until the end of the guarantee period of the plant unit. Construction of OL3 began in 2005, with completion of the reactor originally scheduled for 2009, but the project has faced various delays and setbacks. OL3 achieved first criticality in December 2021 and was connected to the grid in March.

Image: The Olkiluoto nuclear power plant (courtesy of TVO)

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