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. 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.
FT 9th Oct 2017 read more »
Reuters 9th Oct 2017 read more »
[Machine Translation] A further postponement has been announced for the start-up of the Olkiluoto EPR, now scheduled for May 2019, and not at the end of 2018. The site of the Finnish nuclear reactor in Areva continues to lag behind. His client, the Finnish electrician Teollisuuden Voima (TVO), announced on Monday (October 9th) a further postponement of the commissioning of the Olkiluoto EPR (OL3). It is now scheduled for May 2019 (and no longer at the end of 2018), when the contract was signed (2003) and then at the start of work (mid-2005), the start was planned in … 2009. A delay which resulted in a tripling of the initial estimate for a final cost of around € 9 billion and the referral to an international arbitration court.
Le Monde 9th Oct 2017 read more »
Finland will have to add another five months to the decade-long wait to start production at a nuclear reactor once billed as the world’s biggest. Olkiluoto-3, able to power about 3 million homes, will be delayed until May 2019 from its previously expected to start at the end of next year, according to Teollisuuden Voima Oyj, the Helsinki-based utility that will operate the unit. Areva SA, the supplier, said it needed more time to adjust the production schedule. Olkiluoto-3 was billed by Areva and Siemens AG as a showcase for next-generation EPR-reactor technology when construction started in 2005. The project’s initial 3 billion-euro ($3.5 billion) cost has swelled to more than 8 billion euros. The latest delay is for adjustments based on information from a similar reactor being built in China, as well as a more cautious assessment of how quickly the unit will reach full production, an Areva spokesman said by phone. Fuel loading is scheduled for August 2018 and the first connection to the grid is in the following December. The new reactor technology is proving tricky even in state-owned Areva’s home market. The cost of an EPR at Flamanville in France has tripled since construction started in 2007 in a project that’s six years behind schedule.
Bloomberg 9th Oct 2017 read more »
In September 2017, TVO appealed to the European Union’s General Court of Justice against a January 2017 decision by the European Commission to approve France’s state financing of Areva’s restructuring. TVO said it was not opposed in principle to the involvement of the French state in the Areva restructuring, provided that TVO’s needs for Olkiluoto-3’s construction are fully taken into account. In January 2017, the EC’s anti-trust regulators found that the French government’s plans to grant a capital injection of €4.5bn ($5.2bn) to Areva were in line with EU state aid rules and did not constitute an unfair advantage to its competitors. Earlier this year TVO received a second final and binding partial award in the International Chamber of Commerce arbitration proceeding related to delays and costs at Olkiluoto-3. A previous partial award, which addressed the early period of the project in relation to schedule, licensing and system design, was granted in November 2016 and was also favourable to TVO. The Olkiluoto-3 EPR was procured from Areva-Siemens as a fixed-price turnkey project. In October 2014, Areva-Siemens increased an arbitration claim against TVO to €3.5bn for cost overruns on the project. TVO made a counterclaim for delays of €2.3bn.
Nucnet 9th Oct 2017 read more »
The Olkiluoto-3 nuclear power plant in Finland is now set to go a full ten years behind schedule after news emerged of another delay.
Power Engineering International 10th Oct 2017 read more »