nuclear-news

The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry

Still more delay in Finland’s Olkiluoto-3 nuclear power plant

French-backed Finnish nuclear plant delayed again https://www.ft.com/content/99922334-acc8-11e7-aab9-abaa44b1e130  High-profile power station likely to start production more than a decade late 
OCTOBER 9, 2017 by Richard Milne, Nordic Correspondent A high-profile French-backed nuclear power plant in Finland has been delayed yet again, meaning it is likely to start production more than a decade late. Western Europe’s first new nuclear power station for more than two decades will now start production in May 2019 rather than at the end of 2018 as previously announced, according to the Finnish consortium behind the Olkiluoto-3 plant.

Using a similar European pressurised reactor to the one envisaged for the UK’s controversial Hinkley Point plant, the Finnish project — led by French reactor manufacturer Areva — has been regularly beset by delays and huge cost overruns. Olkiluoto-3 was originally meant to start production in spring 2009 and cost €3.2bn but the last price estimate was almost three times as high. “We are very disappointed by this additional delay. There is still substantial work to be accomplished in the project and it is essential that all the necessary technical, human and financial resources are allocated to the project,” said Jouni Silvennoinen, head of the Olkiluoto-3 project at operator TVO.

TVO is particularly concerned about the reorganisation of the French nuclear industry under which utility EDF has taken over the lead role for the development of Hinkley Point. The Finnish nuclear plant operator is worried that France will prioritise another much-delayed project locally in Flamanville over Olkiluoto. “The restructuring of the French nuclear industry must not compromise [that enough resources be directed to Olkiluoto],” Mr Silvennoinen said. TVO took the unusual step last month of complaining to the European Commission that French state aid for Areva was not enough.

Areva, along with its one-time partner Siemens, and TVO have sued each other for billions of euros in a long-running arbitration dispute. The International Chamber of Commerce tribunal made a partial award in TVO’s favour last year but did not specify how much the Finnish group might receive.
The most recent delay is only the latest in a series of problems behind nearly all new nuclear reactors being built in western Europe. Operators complain about a lack of expertise after few reactors were built following the Chernobyl disaster in 1986.
Another Finnish project, Fennovoima, took the decision to go for Russian nuclear technology as manufacturer Rosatom has continued building power plants. But Fennovoima was forced this year to admit a delay of a year in obtaining its construction licence, an embarrassing setback for a project that had touted its ability to learn from the problems at Olkiluoto-3.
Flamanville is running at least six years late and three times over its original budget while Hinkley Point is under scrutiny both for its elevated and rising cost of £20bn and a guaranteed price for electricity that is well above the current wholesale level. TVO said Areva-Siemens had told it the first connection to the grid at Olkiluoto-3 would take place in December 2018 with the start of regular production forecast for May 2019.
Advertisements

October 11, 2017 - Posted by | business and costs, Finland, politics

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: