Finland's newest nuclear reactor will remain offline longer than expected, announced its owner on Monday, pushing back much-needed relief for electricity consumers.
Nuclear power utility Teollisuuden Voima (TVO) has announced that an investigation into damage at the much-delayed Olkiluoto 3 nuclear reactor’s feedwater pumps will continue for a number of weeks.
In a press statement, TVO said that as a result of the ongoing investigation, the schedule for when regular electricity production will begin at the reactor cannot currently be estimated.
"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," TVO's press release said.
While the investigation is ongoing, maintenance work will also be carried out at the plant unit’s turbine side.
Further delays to regular electricity production at Olkiluoto 3 will have a significant impact on Finland's electricity self-sufficiency. If the reactor is not operational by winter, energy prices are likely to rise even further.
Olkiluoto 3, a 1.6-gigawatt European Pressurised Water Reactor (EPR), was granted a construction permit in 2005 and it was originally scheduled to be completed in 2009. However, the project has faced a seemingly endless series of technical problems, delays, cost overruns and legal disputes.
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