Teollisuuden Voima Oyj (TVO) has applied to the Finnish Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority, STUK, for permission to load nuclear fuel into the Olkiluoto 3 EPR. However, fuel loading is expected to be delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
TVO said, 8 April, it estimates it will take a "few months" to obtain a permit for fuel loading at the 1600MW EPR.
However, the Areva-Siemens consortium supplying the unit has told TVO "fuel will not be loaded into the reactor as planned in June 2020, and it is possible that regular electricity production will be delayed."
"[The] Areva-Siemens consortium will update the schedule for OL3 EPR unit as soon as spreading, and effects of the coronavirus pandemic are known," TVO said.
It added that Areva is working on a plan to secure funding until the end of the project.
TVO said works at Olkiluoto 3 site have not proceeded as planned due to measures taken to help prevent the spread of coronavirus at the site.
According to the schedule provided in December, electricity production from Olkiluoto 3 would have started in November 2020 and regular electricity production in March 2021.
The project, which started construction in 2005, is running about 12 years behind schedule and around three times over its original €3.2 billion budget.
Photo: Olkiluoto 3 EPR (Credit: TVO)