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Olkiluoto operator TVO shrinks staff

The nuclear power utility Teollisuuden Voima (TVO) is cutting jobs. The decision follows the government's rejection of its planned Olkiluoto 4 (OL4) reactor.

Olkiluoto 3 joulukuussa 2014.
Image: Antti Laakso / Yle

Teollisuuden Voima (TVO) begin talks next week aimed at shaving up to 110 person-years off the payroll. The company says the redundancies are partly due to the weakened competitiveness of the electricity produced by the plant's two existing units – and by huge cost overruns related to the long-delayed OL3 unit. Last month the company said it would hire more people in 2015 to build OL3.

Staff directly responsible for the safety of the plant’s operations will not be included in the redundancy talks. TVO aims to trim annual spending by 15 million euros.

The utility is controlled by a consortium of Finnish companies, including the majority state-owned Fortum – which operates its own nuclear plant in Loviisa and recently said it may join the Fennovoima consortium planning a reactor near Rauma.

"Remarkable additional costs"

In a statement attributed to CEO Jarmo Tanhua, TVO says that “the competitiveness of the electricity produced in Olkiluoto has declined during the recent years and the outlook of the future is uncertain. Electricity market price has dropped and there are no signs of improvement in the coming foreseeable future. In addition, costs related to nuclear power production have increased and the delay of Olkiluoto 3 project has caused remarkable additional costs. In order to improve the competitiveness of Olkiluoto electricity production we need to start these regrettable measures.”

In September, Minister of Economic Affairs Jan Vapaavuori turned down TVO's revised application for OL4 while giving the green light to the Fennovoima venture.

OL4 had been preliminarily approved in the past, but TVO wanted a nearly four-year extension on its permit due to delays in construction of the OL3 reactor.

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