Commissioning of the Olkiluoto 3 EPR is now running six weeks behind schedule, the Areva-Siemens consortium has informed Finnish utility Teollisuuden Voima Oyj. The supplier is to provide TVO with a revised schedule for the start-up of the plant next month.The Olkiuoto 3 EPR, pictured in September 2016 (Image: TVO)
Areva-Siemens has told TVO the final verification of the mechanical, electrical and the instrumentation and control (I&C) systems has to be done carefully and to a high standard.
In an updated schedule provided to TVO in July, the supplier said nuclear fuel was to be loaded into the reactor in January 2020, the first connection to the grid to take place in April 2020, and the start of regular electricity production was to take place in July 2020.
"Although the completion of the plant will be further delayed, we are very close to reaching the fuel loading phase and start-up of the OL3 EPR unit," said Jouni Silvennoinen, TVO's director for the project. The utility is currently preparing for the loading of fuel, he added.
OL3 plant supplier consortium - Areva GmbH, Areva NP SAS and Siemens AG - is constructing the unit under a fixed-price turnkey contract. They have joint liability for the contractual obligations until the end of the guarantee period of the unit.
The consortium began construction of Olkiluoto 3 in 2005. Completion of the reactor was originally scheduled for 2009, but the project has had various delays and setbacks.
TVO was granted an operating licence by the Finnish government for Olkiluoto 3 on 7 March. For fuel loading, TVO still requires a separate authorisation from the country's Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority.