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Finnish utility Teollisuuden Voima Oyj (TVO) said on 27 March that fuel loading had begun at unit 3 of the Olkiluoto NPP and was expected to continue for a week. During the months following the fuel loading, the EPR reactor will undergo a range of tests as maintenance and finalisation work continues. These will include hot functional testing, in which the reactor and turbine island will be submitted to dozens of separate tests at different pressure and temperature levels. Previous hot functional testing took place in 2018.

Date: Wednesday, 31 March 2021
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The loading of fuel assemblies into the Olkiluoto 3 (OL3) EPR in Finland began on 27 March, utility Teollisuuden Voima Oyj (TVO) has announced. The move follows the receipt of a permit from the country's Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority (STUK) the previous day. The process of loading the fuel assemblies into OL3 is expected to take about one week, TVO said.

Date: Tuesday, 30 March 2021
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Delayed Generation III plant scheduled for commercial operation in early 2022 Fuel loading will start soon at the Generation III Olkiluoto nuclear power station in Finland. Courtesy TVO. Finland’s Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority (Stuk) on Friday gave a fuel loading permit for the Olkiluoto-3 nuclear power plant with the 1,600-MW Generation III EPR unit scheduled to start up in October and begin commercial operation in February 2022.

Stuk said it had verified plant operator Teollisuuden Voima Oyj’s (TVO) readiness to begin the fuel loading. TVO’s Olkiluoto-3 project director, Jouni Silvennoinen said the permit was the most significant step in the commissioning of the plant unit so far. He said systems have now been rigorously tested and “we will be able to begin fuel loading soon”.

The fuel arrived in Olkiluoto in 2018. During the fuel loading, 241 fuel assemblies, comprising about 128 tonnes of uranium, will be transferred from storage into the reactor’s pressure vessel.

The assemblies have all been manufactured in Framatome’s plants in Germany and in France. Framatome said that to carry out the loading operations, a team made up of approximately 40 employees from TVO, Areva and Framatome has been formed. It includes around 15 fuel handlers, employees specialising in the fuel handling operations, and four neutronics engineers in charge of monitoring the core during loading.

Date: Saturday, 27 March 2021
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Finnish utility Teollisuuden Voima Oyj (TVO) has been granted a permit by the country's Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority (STUK) to load fuel into the reactor of the Olkiluoto 3 (OL3) EPR. The unit, construction of which began in 2005, is scheduled to enter commercial operation early next year.

Date: Saturday, 27 March 2021
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Nuclear regulation requires "humbleness and openness", Olivier Gupta, Director-General of France's nuclear safety regulator, told OECD Nuclear Energy Agency Director General William Magwood in a WebChat yesterday. Gupta has been Director-General of the Autorité de Sûreté Nucléaire (ASN) since 2016 and has been chair of Western European Nuclear Regulators Association (WENRA) since 2019.

Date: Thursday, 25 March 2021
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Lightbridge Corporation and Framatome have agreed to dissolve their Enfission joint venture. Launched in January 2018, Enfission was to develop, license and sell nuclear fuel assemblies based on Lightbridge's innovative metallic nuclear fuel technology.

Date: Wednesday, 24 March 2021
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Brazil’s nuclear utility, Eletronuclear, on 25 February published in the Official Gazette (Diário Oficial da Uniao), a tender for a company to resume the civil works at the partly completed unit 3 of the Angra NPP, and to carry out part of the electromechanical assembly. This aim is to accelerate the plant's progress and to press ahead with some construction activities before hiring a contractor to undertake work to complete the construction of the plant. The contract is expected to be signed by May. First concrete is now scheduled for October and hiring of the general contractor for the second half of 2022. Eletronuclear is a subsidiary of state-run electric utility Eletrobras, which the government plans to privatise, although the nuclear power unit will be spun off and remain under state control.

Date: Thursday, 04 March 2021
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Shareholders in Finnish utility Teollisuuden Voima Oyj (TVO) have signed an additional shareholder loan commitment for EUR400 million (USD490 million). With the new shareholder loan commitment, TVO said it prepares to maintain a sufficient liquidity buffer and equity ratio in order to complete the Olkiluoto 3 (OL3) EPR project.

Date: Friday, 18 December 2020
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France continuing work on its own SMR project
EDF chairman and CEO Jean-Bernard Lévy. Image courtesy EDF. Mr Lévy, who took part yesterday in a virtual discussion with the director-general of the International Energy Agency Fatih Birol, said that France is working on a basic SMR design together with “other French partners” with the aim of having a “French option in the emerging world of SMRs”.

However, he said that “it is too early” for anyone to say if several SMRs could bring more value, more flexibility, less life-time costs, and easier maintenance in order to compete with large-scale nuclear reactors.

Large-scale nuclear is a mature industry, while SMRs are an emerging business, he said, and added that “one wants to test the concept” before definitely stating SMRs can be competitive.

Mr Lévy said: “It [SMR technology] is promising, but right now all existing SMR projects are financed by governments; they are not financed by market forces. This is not a market-driven business; this is a government-funded business.”

Date: Friday, 27 November 2020
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China's third-generation nuclear power technology, Hualong One (HPR 1000), with independent intellectual property rights successfully passed the European Utility Requirements (EUR) compliance assessment and obtained the EUR certification, China General Nuclear (CGN) announced.

Date: Tuesday, 17 November 2020
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