Finland’s long-delayed Olkiluoto 3 nuclear reactor is on track to start production in December 2018 as it nears a comprehensive test phase, the plant’s project director said on Thursday. “We are proceeding quite well … we plan to be in full power operation by the end of next year,” project director Jouni Silvennoinen from utility Teollisuuden Voima (TVO) told Reuters in an interview at the Olkiluoto plant. The third reactor at Olkiluoto, based on an island in Eurajoki on Finland’s western coast, is running almost a decade behind its original schedule, as its manufacturers and TVO are locked in a legal battle related to its rising costs. “We have of course a financing revolving base, loans which we repay with new loans … but my understanding is that we are fine as we are today,” Silvennoinen said, confirming no further loans are needed for O3’s completion. The project’s total costs have ballooned from an initial estimate of 3.2 billion euros ($3.8 billion) to around 8.5 billion euros, plant supplier Areva estimated in 2012. TVO’s owners include Finnish paper companies UPM and Stora Enso as well as utility Fortum. The EPR reactor is set to become Finland’s fifth and largest, and provide about 10 percent of the country’s power needs.
Reuters 17th Aug 2017 read more »