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Olkiluoto 3 electricity production hit by further delay

The OL3 nuclear reactor is expected to produce around 14 percent of Finland’s electricity once it begins operating at full capacity.

File photo of the Olkiluoto 3 nuclear reactor. Image: Kimmo Hiltunen / Yle

Electricity production at the new Olkiluoto 3 nuclear reactor in southwest Finland has been hit by yet further delays.

Production had been set to begin in January, but this was postponed until early February.

In a press release, the facility's operator Teollisuuden Voima (TVO) said the much-delayed reactor will instead begin producing electricity at the end of February.

"During the OL3 plant unit’s test production phase, it was observed that there is a need for modifications in the plant unit’s automation related to control functions, as well as further testing related to the modifications," the statement said.

The delay also means that regular electricity production will begin in July, and not June as planned. Production will operate at 30 percent capacity until then.

The OL3 reactor was originally intended to start generating electricity in 2009, but the project has been hit by a catalogue of delays, including faulty components and safety tests, even leading to lawsuits between TVO and the French firm Areva.

The OL3 reactor is expected to produce around 14 percent of Finland’s electricity once it is fully operational.