Finland’s 10-Year Wait for a Nuclear Reactor Just Got Longer

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  - writes

Plagued by cost overruns and legal tangles, the delay is the latest setback for the 1,600-megawatt reactor meant to provide cheap power to companies from Finnish papermakers UPM-Kymmene Oyj and Stora Enso Oyj to a Google Inc. server farm. The nation last year had to import a quarter of its electricity in the wholesale market, where prices for delivery to Finland are about 21 percent higher than the Nordic-region average.

“We are very disappointed by this additional delay,”Jouni Silvennoinen,TVO’s senior vice president for the Olkiluoto-3 project, said in a statement. “There is still substantial work to be accomplished.”

Finland is seeking to reduce reliance on its neighbors for power and the vulnerability of being too dependent on other nations. More than 10 percent of Finland’s power demand was met with Russian imports until 2011 when its eastern neighbor unexpectedly put a tariff on exports at times of peak demand, which cut flows by more than half.

“Since it has been delayed for so long, it’s hard to tell when market participants priced in its start,” said John Brottemsmo, a senior market analyst at Kinect Energy Group in Bergen, Norway. “There’s still two years left until the start, so there may be further delays that would have a bigger impact on prices.”

To read more on nuclear power debate, click here

Olkiluoto-3 was billedby 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.

Thelatest 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.

When construction began, Olkiluoto-3 was to be the world’s biggest reactor and the first with EPR technology. That mantle may now go to China, which plans to start two 1,660-megawatt EPR-reactors in Taishan within the next 18 months.

The Finnish project’s parties are suing each other over the delays.TVO won part of its case against Areva-Siemens in July at the International Chamber of Commerce in Paris. A final arbitration decision is expected early next year.

Areva has been delisted from the stock exchange by the French state, which injected 2 billion euros in the entity in July to help it complete the Olkiluoto project and pay back some loans. Areva is also due to sell a majority stake in its reactor business to Electricite de France SA by the end of the year to raise further funds.

The Finnish project delay isn’t linked to Areva’s restructuring, the spokesman said.

Read more news of Helsinki on our site.
NuclearReactor waiting Finland
If you notice an error, highlight the text you want and press Ctrl + Enter to report it to the editor
I recommend
No recommendations yet


Post your comment to communicate and discuss this article.

The coach of a sports club in Hyvinkää, southern Finland has been remanded into police custody on suspicion of sexual abuse of minors he was coaching, the Itä-Uusimaa police department said on Thursday. Officials said that they are investigating the case as suspected child abuse but did not disclose the ages of the alleged victims. The suspect in the case, a 50-year-old man, was remanded into custody on Wednesday. The suspected sexual abuse is believed to...
Finns increasingly forego do-it-yourself construction of prefab elements in favour of completely completed homes. Turnkey homes (where homes are fully finished and owners can immediately occupy them) have become more popular than traditional house packages, says the Finnish Association for Manufacturers of Prefabricated Houses. “About 7,500 detached homes are built in Finland every year, and about 70 percent of them are prefabricated houses of some kind,”...
THE FESTIVE ATMOSPHERE in the Helsinki neighbourhood of Arabianranta was visibly subdued on Tuesday, as residents mourned the death of a local child who is believed to have been murdered. While little information has been released to the public, it is known that the victim was murdered near their home on the night of Christmas Eve (December 24). The police apprehended a suspect at the scene of the crime, who has been confirmed as a 36-year old male. Whethe...
One of Finland’s most famous seafaring vessels, the titanic icebreaker Otso, was deployed on its first mission of the winter season last night, keeping sea routes open for the 22nd year in a row. Late in the evening of Christmas Day, Otso, the crowning glory of Arctia Oy’s extensive fleet, departed from Helsinki’s Katajanokka Harbour, heading north to the Bay of Bothnia. The 7000-ton Polar icebreaker has been tasked with keeping waterways open between Oulu...
Eight Finnish political parties have published their a statement on future climate policy goals in Finland. Prime Minister Juha Sipilä (Centre) in November invited all nine parliamentary parties to join a task force established to find an agreement on new, more ambitious climate goals for Finland. The one-month project was led by Kimmo Tiilikainen (Centre), the Minister of the Environment, Energy and Housing. The Finns Party abandoned the task force last w...
A 25-year-old man suspected of the sexual abuse of a girl under the age of 15 in Oulu, northwestern Finland, who was arrested in Germany last Tuesday is now reported to be at large. According to law enforcement officials in Oulu, the suspect was released by German police before he could be transferred to Finnish custody due to "a breakdown in communication between authorities". Oulu District Court ordered the suspect to be reprimanded into custody in absen...
Finland’s high earners saw their real income grow more in 2017 than their peers in middle and low income groups, according to new data released by Statistics Finland on Tuesday. Incomes among the country’s highest income decile rose by 4.4 percent in 2017 compared to 2016, while the year-on-year increase was 1.3 percent for middle income earners. Incomes for the four lowest income deciles meanwhile grew by 1.2 percent over the one-year period. However amon...
A man wanted in connection with a suspected arson attempt on a home in Helsinki’s Käpylä district was remanded into police custody on Sunday. The Helsinki district court has remanded a man suspected of attempted arson and attempted murder into police custody, ending a short-lived manhunt, police said on Sunday. The 25 year-old is suspected of using a Molotov cocktail to cause a fire at a flat in Käpylä, Helsinki last Monday. The apartment was completely de...
Helsinki Central Library Oodi will opened its doors to the public on 5 December at 8am, a day before Finland’s 101st birthday. Designed by ALA Architects, this library of a new era is an ode to Finnish culture, equality and freedom of expression. Oodi offers everyone an open, public urban space at Kansalaistori Square, right opposite Parliament House. Central Library Oodi is an active and functional meeting point with 2.5 million expected annual visitors....