Fukushima Disaster Might Raise Olkiluoto Costs

The export prospects of the French nuclear power company Areva, which is building the Olkiluoto 3 plant in Finland, are suffering due to the disaster at the crisis-stricken Fukushima facility in Japan. The changing safety procedures could cost Olkiluoto dearly.

Image: YLE

Nuclear power expert Thibaut Madelin, from France’s biggest financial newspaper Les Echos, considers it likely that, as a consequence of the Fukushima catastrophe, additional expenses and delays could transpire at the EPR-type reactors built at Olkiluoto.

”Areva and EDF [French electricity company] have focused on the export of EPR reactors and the French nuclear power model. This has now faded into the background,” Madelin says. ”The question is no longer whether other countries will buy EPR or some other reactor, but whether nuclear power construction will continue at all.”

French radiation authorities are inspecting all of the country’s nuclear plants, including an EPR reactor of the Olkiluoto type, which is being constructed in Normandy.

The authorities have already warned that changes will be needed regarding spent fuel pools, for example. Diesel generators, which suffered failure at Fukushima, might also require alterations.

According to Madelin, the renovations will bring new write-downs for Areva—and additional delays for Olkiluoto 3, which is already far behind schedule and over budget.