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Olkiluoto 3 electricity production postponed until February

The facility had been due to begin operating at 30 percent capacity by the end of January, but an unplanned shutdown during testing has led to a further delay.

The Olkiluoto 3 nuclear reactor in Eurajoki, southwest Finland has been beset by delays and controversies. Image: Kimmo Hiltunen / Yle

The production of electricity at the much-delayed Olkiluoto 3 nuclear reactor — which had been scheduled to begin at the end of January — has been postponed until next month.

In a press release, the facility's operator Teollisuuden Voima (TVO) said the delay was due to an unplanned reactor shutdown during the test phase. The reasons for the shutdown have been clarified and corrected, the company said.

"The causes leading to the automatic trip and corrective measures have now been dealt with, but they caused a delay in the test production programme. The test production programme is currently proceeding normally," the press release said.

The statement added that regular electricity production will begin in June 2022, as planned. Production will be at 30 percent capacity when production begins.

The reactor, located in Eurajoki, southwest Finland, was originally intended to start generating electricity in 2009, but the reactor has been beset by delays, including faulty components and safety tests, and the delays have led to lawsuits between TVO and the French firm Areva.

OL3's sister reactor, Olkiluoto 2, made headlines in December 2020 after an emergency shutdown caused by warm water entering the reactor's cleaning system.

Once completed, the OL3 reactor is expected to produce around 14 percent of Finland’s electricity.