Olkiluoto 3 will not resume producing electricity before December "at the earliest", TVO has said. Commissioning of the EPR in Finland was interrupted in October following the discovery of cracks in feedwater pumps.

Olkiluoto 3 (Image: TVO)

TVO said the impact on the schedule from the damage "cannot be estimated", as investigations still have some weeks to go. "According to information from the Areva-Siemens plant supplier consortium, electricity production will continue on 11 December 2022 at the earliest, and as such regular electricity production starts at the end of January 2023 at the earliest," the company said.

Construction of Olkiluoto 3 - also known as OL3 - began in 2005 and was originally scheduled for completion in 2009. The 1600 MWe pressurised water reactor attained first criticality on 21 December 2020, and was connected to the grid in March. It was operated at full capacity for the first time in late September and had been scheduled to start regular electricity production in December.

The cracks in the impellers of feedwater pumps located in the plant's turbine island were discovered during maintenance and inspection work. The feedwater pumps are used to pump water from the feedwater tank into the steam generators, and TVO said they have no impact on nuclear safety.

The plant is being built by the Areva-Siemens consortium under a fixed-price turnkey contract. TVO said it is "actively taking part" in the investigation with the plant supplier. Final results should be available during December "at the latest", and possible impacts on the schedule impact will be communicated as soon as the results are available, it said.

In the meantime, maintenance work is being carried out on the plant's turbine side.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News

Date: Wednesday, 23 November 2022
Original article: world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/December-seen-as-earliest-date-for-OL3-restart