The first outage of the 1600 MWe EPR at unit 3 of Finland’s Olkiluoto NPP (OL3) will now be extended until 28 April. Initially the outage was supposed to end on 8 April, but owner operator Teollisuuden Voima Oyj (TVO) extended it first to 15 April, then to 20 April. TVO initially said the shutdown of the unit and preparation for the fuel unloading had taken more time than planned. TVO then said more time than was planned is needed for the plant unit’s fuel inspections. TVO now says the reason for the additional eight days is “the new faults found during the outage and technical problems with inspection equipment”.

OL3 began regular electricity production in April 2023 following the completion of trial operation. Construction of OL3 began in 2005 and various setbacks and delays mean the plant is some 14 years behind the original schedule and significantly over budget. OL3’s final price tag is put at some $11bn ($12bn), some three times what was initially estimated. OL3 attained first criticality in December 2021 and was connected to the grid on in March 2022. The EPR was operated at full capacity for the first time in late September 2022. However, cracks were identified in the impellers of the feedwater pumps located in the turbine island, causing further delays.

Image: Olkiluoto unit 3 (courtesy of TVO)