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Long-delayed nuclear reactor approved to exceed 60% energy production

Tests carrying out during this phrase aim to ensure that Olkiluoto 3 works as planned, even at high powers.

The Olkiluoto 3 reactor should produce electricity for the national grid at full capacity in December. Image: Lucas Ekblad / Yle
Yle News

The Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority (STUK) has granted a licence for the Olkiluoto 3 reactor to increase its power output to more than 60 percent.

Once the licence is granted, Teollisuuden Voima (TVO) will gradually increase the reactor's power in stages from 60 percent to a full 4,300 MW of thermal capacity.

During the power increase, tests will be carried out to ensure that Olkiluoto 3 continues to operate as planned at these power levels. STUK will monitor the power increase on site.

According to Essi Vanhanen, Project Manager in charge of Olkiluoto 3, supervision at STUK, the commissioning tests and studies carried out so far have shown that Finland's newest nuclear power reactor has operated safely and that the plant can continue to increase its power output in accordance with the test operation plans.

Delays have plagued the Olkiluoto 3 project since its inception, but getting it up and running has never been more pertinent.

Last week, due to turbine failure, the reactor's output dropped to zero.

As Finland and Europe face a winter plagued by energy concerns, Olkiluoto 3 could alleviate much of the strain caused by the crisis. The reactor is scheduled to be fully operational in December.

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