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Ho hum … the umpteenth delay for Finland’s Olkiluoto 3 nuclear reactor

Finland’s Olkiluoto 3 nuclear reactor faces another delayBy Nora Buli   OSLO, Aug 23 (Reuters) – The start of Finland’s much-delayed Olkiluoto 3 nuclear reactor has been pushed back by a further three months, with full power production now scheduled for June 2022, operator TVO said in a statement late on Friday.

“Teollisuuden Voima Oyj (TVO) has received additional information from the plant supplier Areva-Siemens consortium that the regular electricity production of the OL3 EPR plant unit will be further postponed for three months due to extended turbine overhaul and inspection works,” TVO said.

Olkiluoto 3 was meant to be finished in 2009 but the project has been beset by a series of setbacks…….

August 24, 2021 Posted by | Finland, politics | Leave a comment

Further delay, more costs, for Finland’s nuclear power station, Fennovoima

Helsinki Times 4th May 2021, THE NUCLEAR POWER PROJECT of Fennovoima in Pyhäjoki, North Ostrobothnia,
is set to be delayed further, writes YLE. The Finnish consortium of power
and industrial companies stated last week that its effort to ensure the
design and licencing materials meet the Finnish standards has taken longer
than expected, predicting that a building permit for the plant could be
secured by mid-2022 instead of 2021.

The construction would therefore start
in the summer of 2023 and the plant start commercial operation in 2029. The
timetable is set forth in a supplement attached last week to the building
permit application the consortium filed with the Ministry of Employment and
the Economy in 2015. Fennovoima, the supplement reveals, has also raised
its cost estimate for the project from 6.5–7.0 to 7.0–7.5 billion
euros, citing its own operational and administrative costs.

May 6, 2021 Posted by | business and costs, Finland | Leave a comment

Delays, increased costs and geopolitical uncertainties throw doubt on construction of nuclear power station in Finland.

Nuclear power plant construction in north Finland faces delay, increased costs and geopolitical uncertainties

Costs for the partly Russian-owned controversial plant will be €1 billion more than previously estimated. Barents Observer,    By Thomas Nilsen , April 29, 2021

“Further deterioration of political and commercial relations between the EU, the USA and Russia could lead to more sanctions between the parties. Such deteriorated international affairs and sanctions could influence the project’s schedule and financing, in particular,” Fennovoima writes in its updated construction license application to Finnish authorities on Wednesday. 

Work on the site in Pyhäjoki south of Oulu is in full swing despite final permission for the reactor itself at Hanhikivi 1 nuclear power plant is not yet granted.

The original application was delivered in 2015, but as Fennovoima sees “changes in boundary conditions,” an updated application was made. Among other things, the application includes an additional survey on the power plant’s impact on the marine environment and fishery during operation.

Other changes are related to security and preparedness arrangements and design solutions, although, no changes to the key principles of the power plant, Fennovoima underlines…….

Russia’s state-owned nuclear corporation holds a 34% stake in the plant. For Moscow, export of civilian nuclear power reactors is both a commercial revenue and a source of symbolic technology pride.

Last week, government officials in the Czech Republic said they were kicking Rosatom out of the play for bidding at a planned new reactor for the Dukovany nuclear power plant. The move came amid the diplomatic turmoil between Prague and Moscow following a 2014 blast in a weapons storage which Czech intelligence blames Russian military spies for being involved.

Like with the Czech nuclear power plant, also Fennovoima’s Hanhikivi 1 reactor is planned to receive uranium fuel supplies from Russia……..

May 1, 2021 Posted by | business and costs, Finland, politics international | Leave a comment

84% of Finland’s population support signing up to the U.N. Nuclear Weapons Ban Treaty

It is time to end our reliance on nuclear weapons Nuclear non-proliferation is a fundamentally European issue which is not yet part of any EU agenda, Erkki Tuomioja, View from the Council 2 November 2020,    Finland did not participate in the negotiations leading up to the treaty, and it did not vote for it. Public opinion is, however, in favour of the treaty, with one poll showing that 84 per cent of Finns would support signing up. Three parties in Finland’s coalition government also want the country to join. Foreign ministry officials have argued in hearings of the Finnish parliament’s Foreign Relations Committee that joining would weaken the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) – a faulty reasoning that the Committee unanimously rejected.

It is worth quoting at length the statement published on 21 September this year by 56 former leaders and foreign or defence ministers of NATO and US ally countries, including two former NATO secretaries-general:

“The prohibition treaty is an important reinforcement to the half-century-old Non-Proliferation Treaty, which, though remarkably successful in curbing the spread of nuclear weapons to more countries, has failed to establish a universal taboo against the possession of nuclear weapons. The five nuclear-armed nations that had nuclear weapons at the time of the NPT’s negotiation — the United States, Russia, Britain, France and China — apparently view it as a licence to retain their nuclear forces in perpetuity.  Instead of disarming, they are investing heavily in upgrades to their arsenals, with plans to retain them for many decades to come. This is patently unacceptable.”

It is precisely the frustration at the lack of progress with nuclear disarmament – to which the nuclear weapons states committed themselves in the grand bargain to get the non-nuclear countries to accept the NPT treaty signed in 1968 – that gave decisive impetus to the prohibition treaty. Obviously, without the participation of the nuclear weapons states, not one nuclear weapon will be dismantled. But without pressure from the non-nuclear weapons states in the form of this treaty, neither will they engage in serious efforts at disarmament. Nuclear weapons states will instead continue the present trend of modernising existing and developing new nuclear weapons systems.

Support in NATO countries for doing away with all weapons of mass destruction is growing, as evidenced by the signatories to the statement above. This is important because one argument made in Finland and Sweden, although it is rarely made in public, for opposing joining the prohibition treaty is the displeasure the US would show at such a step, which could hinder the deepening of these countries’ partnership relations with NATO. Given the growing demand in non-nuclear NATO countries to sign the treaty this is just as spurious as the NPT argument against joining.

The time has come for all states in the world to bring an end to the misguided, illegitimate, and immoral reliance on nuclear weapons. An all-out nuclear war is a threat to human life as a whole and would immediately bring about all the disasters we are trying to avoid with our efforts to curtail climate change and implement the Sustainable Development Goals of Agenda 2030.

No responsible leader disputes this. Yet we continue to conduct exercises in preparation for a nuclear war. The risk of accidental or miscalculated nuclear weapon use may today be even greater than at the height of the cold war. The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons is, as the statement quoted says, “a beacon of hope in a time of darkness”.

There is one nuclear weapons state in the EU (formerly two) and 21 EU member states in NATO, but nuclear weapons and related issues have never formed part of the EU’s agenda. This is a fundamentally European issue, given the likelihood that Europe would face the greatest level of destruction in the event of a conflict and because of the European preference for achieving change through rules-based processes. All EU member states should address it and join the treaty banning all nuclear weapons. Three member states in the EU have already done so; others should follow them.

Erkki Tuomioja is ECFR member and former Minister for Foreign Affairs in Finland.

November 3, 2020 Posted by | Finland, politics international, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Finland, stuck with increasingly costly Olkiluouti nuclear nightmare, plans and even worse expense, with small nucler reactors!

Taz 26th Oct 2020, The European pressurized water reactor Olkiluoto 3 has long since developed into a Finnish BER – at least twelve years too late, three times as expensive as planned. And it’s far from being online. The same goes for the
new Hanhikivi project: years behind before construction began .

But the Finnish nuclear lobby is already planning another nuclear energy adventure: the construction of so-called Small Modular Reactors (SMR). Paul Dorfman of the UK UCL Energy Institute and co-author of an SMR study by the Nuclear
Consulting Group estimates that small reactors would provide increasingly expensive energy due to the cost of materials and personnel : the massive investments that would be required to create a supply chain so that replacing the economies of scale of large reactors with the advantage of series production would make the investment risk for SMR even higher than for standard reactors.!5720692/

October 29, 2020 Posted by | Finland, Small Modular Nuclear Reactors | Leave a comment

Finland’s new nuclear reactor hit by valve leak

May 26, 2020 Posted by | Finland, incidents | Leave a comment

Latest delay in Olkiluoto nuclear fuel loadings leads to Fitch revising outlook to negative

April 24, 2020 Posted by | business and costs, Finland | Leave a comment

Yet more delay – Finland’s Olkiluoto 3 nuclear reactor already 12 years behind schedule

December 21, 2019 Posted by | business and costs, Finland, politics | Leave a comment

Long-delayed Finland Olkiluoto 3 nuclear reactor to start July 2020 – TVO

Long-delayed Finland nuclear reactor to start July 2020 – TVO    PARIS, July 17 (Reuters) – Finnish Teollisuuden Voima Oyj (TVO) said in a statement on Wednesday that the long-delayed Olkiluoto 3 nuclear plant would start generating electricity in July 2020.

TVO said that the Areva-Siemens Consortium that is building the reactor had informed it that nuclear fuel will be loaded into the reactor in Jan. 2020, the first connection to the grid will take place in April 2020, and start of regular electricity production in July 2020.

The EPR reactor in western Finland is already more than a decade behind schedule and had been due to start producing electricity in January 2020.

A similar reactor under construction for French utility EDF in Flamanville, France is also years behind schedule and billions over budget due to a string of major technical problems, including weak spots in its steel and faulty weldings.

In Taishan, China the world’s first EPR reactor went into commercial operation in Dec. 2018 and the second one is expected to go into full operation in the fourth quarter of 2019.

EDF, which has a 30 percent stake in the Taishan reactors, is also building two EPR reactors in Hinkley Point, Britain. (Reporting by Geert De Clercq Editing by Bate Felix)

July 18, 2019 Posted by | Finland, politics | Leave a comment

Finland’s nuclear waste burial site to store wastes from two nuclear power plants

Nuclear waste firm plans big investment at Olkiluoto final disposal site 26 June 19

According to Posiva, the decision will lead to the world’s first safe final disposal system for nuclear waste.  Nuclear waste firm Posiva is to spend some 500 million euros on a production facility for spent fuel handling at its underground Onkalo site, adjacent to the Olkiluoto nuclear power plant in Eurajoki, southwest Finland.

The company plans to build a final disposal facility and an encapsulation plant, which it says will allow spent nuclear fuel rods to be stored safely for millennia.

Posiva is owned by the utilities TVO and Fortum, which plan to use Onkalo to store waste from Olkiluoto and Loviisa nuclear power plants.

Olkiluoto has two reactors, with a long-delayed third one due to begin operations sometime next year, more than a decade behind schedule. Plans for a fourth reactor have been shelved. Loviisa has two reactors built in the late 1970s. Posiva has said there is no room at Onkalo for waste from the proposed Fennovoima plant in northern Finland, which has yet to receive a construction permit.

“World’s first”

Sections of the Onkalo storage cave that have already been dug out will be upgraded with systems needed for begin the final disposal procedures.

According to Posiva CEO Janne Mokka, the investment decision paves the way for the world’s first safe final disposal system for nuclear waste.

“In Finland, full life-cycle management is a precondition for the production of climate-friendly nuclear electricity. Posiva will execute the final disposal of the spent fuel of its owners’ Olkiluoto and Loviisa nuclear power plants responsibly,” he said in a statement on Tuesday.

The firm estimates that the half-billion-euro construction project will generate some 2,500 person years of employment.

“We expect to award contracts for the most significant works in the near future,” Mokk

June 27, 2019 Posted by | Finland, wastes | Leave a comment

Finland’s Olkiluoto 3 nuclear reactor – another delay after delays

April 11, 2019 Posted by | business and costs, Finland | Leave a comment

Safety problem at Areva’s Olkiluoto nuclear reactor in Finland

WSAU 22nd Feb 2019  Safety problem found at Areva’s Finnish reactor before start-up –
regulator. Finland’s nuclear regulator has identified a safety issue at
Olkiluoto 3, a 1.6-gigawatt reactor built by France’s Areva, now renamed
Orano, and the problem needs to be fixed before the unit can receive a
permit to operate, the regulator told Reuters. The reactor is due to start
producing electricity in January next year after a decade-long delay. Part
of the pressuriser, a primary circuit component of the reactor, is
vibrating at levels that exceed safety limits, said Pekka Valikangas, the
regulator’s section head for nuclear reactor regulation, ahead of an
important assessment which is due to be published on Monday. “The test
results show that these vibrations are not approved,” Valikangas said in an

February 25, 2019 Posted by | Finland, safety | Leave a comment

Wild mushrooms in Finland still containing high radioactive cesium from Chernobyl nuclear accident in 1986

Watchdog: Wild mushrooms OK to eat despite lingering Chernobyl radiation, YLE, 16 Jan 19, More than 30 years on, radiation from the Chernobyl disaster remains present in Finnish wild foods.

The Finnish Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority (Stuk) says that fallout from the Chernobyl nuclear accident can still be detected in Finnish foods, but that it accounts for less than one percent of the average annual radiation dose for people in Finland.

The city of Helsinki’s urban environment division said on Monday that two samples of funnel chanterelle (or yellow leg) mushrooms it tested contained levels of radioactive caesium that exceeded the recommended maximum.

According to EU guidelines, food products offered for sale should not contain more than 600 becquerels per kilo (Bq/kg) of caesium-137. Mushrooms picked in Pälkäne in Pirkanmaa, south-central Finland had a reading of nearly 1,000 Bq/kg. Meanwhile those picked in Hyvinkää, some 60 km from the capital, contained 1,300 Bq/kg. Wild produce from around the country is widely sold at marketplaces in the capital……

January 17, 2019 Posted by | environment, Finland | 2 Comments

Radioactive reindeer in Finland and Norway

Rudolph the radioactive reindeer December 16, 2018

Dosed by Chernobyl and atomic tests, reindeer and their herders are carrying a heavy nuclear burden, By Linda Pentz GunterFallout from Soviet atomic bomb tests over the Arctic Ocean, compounded by the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear power plant explosion, have left reindeer too radioactive to eat, even today. That may be good news for the reindeer, sort of. But it’s bad news for the indigenous Laplanders in Finland and Sami herders in Norway, who carry high levels of radiation in their own bodies as well as in the reindeer on which they depend for sustenance and sales.

Reindeer carry heavy radioactive doses, mainly of cesium-137, because they devour lichen, moss and fungi, which bioaccumulate radioactive deposits from fallout. Norway’s radioactive contamination is primarily from Chernobyl, made worse because it was snowing heavily at the time of the April 26 accident. 

The Sami story is beautifully explained in this stunning photo essay by Amos Chapple and Wojtek Grojec for Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.

As the essay describes it, despite the length of time since the Chernobyl disaster, the fallout is a nasty gift that keeps on giving. “In 2014, there was a huge spike in radiation levels that scientists put down to a bumper season for mushrooms. Hundreds of Norwegian reindeer intended for slaughter had to be released back into the wild.”  Levels apparently shot from 1,500 becquerels per kilogram to 8,200.

A video of Chapple and Grojec’s work, on Tech Insider, also explains the impact of cesium-137 fallout on reindeer and their herders. [0n originall] 

Unfortunately, Norway’s “allowable” radiation standards are far higher than in other parts of Europe, at 3,000 becquerels per kilogram of food compared to the EU standard of 600 becquerels. When Chapple and Grojec were compiling their story, the herd they visited was testing at 2,100 becquerels, passing the Norwegian test for “safe”. The authors say that the higher levels were established by the Norwegian government in “response to radiation levels in reindeer that threatened the very existence of the Sami herders.”

This practice of simply moving the radiation goalposts to make dangerous levels safe still goes on today, of course, most notably in Japan. As was pointed out in an earlier story on our site, the Japanese government, eager to show the world that the Fukushima region could quickly be made safe for habitation, simply raised the “allowable” annual exposure rate from 1 millisievert to 20, an entirely unacceptable dose for most people, especially women and children.

In Finland, most of the persistent radiation levels are due to atomic testing during the Cold War. Measurements continue to be taken among the Lapland reindeer herders where cesium levels are ten times higher than in the rest of Finland. Although cesium levels in humans were a shocking 45,000 becquerels per kilo in the 1960s according to one report, they still hover at over 1,000 today.

The reduction in slaughter of reindeer comes with other side effects as well. As far back as 1997, it was already being observed that the increase in reindeer population, leading to “Over-grazing and trampling, is causing more damage to the fragile tundra than some of the world’s most seriously polluting factories,” wrote Geoffrey Lean in The Independent.

Now, as Russia begins using floating nuclear reactors to plunder the Arctic Ocean for oil, the region has been placed under threat of a radioactive catastrophe again. From both an economic and health perspective, neither the reindeer nor their indigenous herders can afford a second assault.

December 17, 2018 Posted by | environment, Finland, Reference | 1 Comment

Finland’s super-expensive Olkiluoto nuclear project delayed yet again

World Nuclear News 29th Nov 2018, The start of regular electricity generation at the Olkiluoto 3 (OL3) EPR has been pushed back by a further four months and is now expected to begin
in January 2020, Finnish utility Teollisuuden Voima Oyj (TVO) announced

Last month, the plant’s supplier – the Areva-Siemens consortium –
announced it wanted to update the schedule for completing the unit as
commissioning tests were taking longer than planned. TVO said it has been
informed by the Areva-Siemens consortium that fuel will now be loaded into
the reactor core in June 2019, with grid connection to take place next
October, and the start of regular electricity generation scheduled for
January 2020.

Under the previous schedule provided by the plant supplier in
June this year, fuel loading was expected in January 2019, grid connection
in May and the start of regular electricity production in September.

December 1, 2018 Posted by | business and costs, Finland, politics | 1 Comment