Finnish power utility Teollisuuden Voima Oyj (TVO) has started the environmental impact assessment procedure (EIA) for the possible extension of the operating permit and possible power increase of units 1&2 at its Olkiluoto NPP. Currently, the units' operating licences extend to 2038.

Unit 1 was commissioned in 1978 and unit 2 in 1980. TVO is now exploring the possibility of extending the operating permits by at least 10 years. “Extending the service life would support domestic year-round and weather-independent electricity production and Finland's and Europe's climate goals,” said TVO's Director of Electricity Production Marjo Mustonen.

TVO says the units have been modernised throughout their lifetime with annual maintenance and substantial investments and are still in excellent operating condition. About €50m ($53m) a year has been invested in the units. The investments have also made it possible to increase their efficiency. Their original capacity of 660 MWe has been increased to 890 MWe.

In addition to the extension of the operating permit, TVO is also considering further power increases of 80 MWe to approximately 970 Mwe each. Decisions will be taken after the EIA report is completed.

Image: Olkiluoto units 1 and 2 (courtesy of TVO)