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Fingrid: Olkiluoto fire could cause power cuts

Two nuclear reactors are off the grid on Thursday after a transformer fire at the Olkiluoto plant in western Finland.

Olkiluodon rakenteilla oleva ydinvoimala.
Image: TVO

A transformer fire at the Olkiluoto nuclear reactor in western Finland on Wednesday caused both of the functioning reactors at the plant to shut down, cutting electricity supply from the plant to the national grid.

Finland's grid operator Fingrid says that if the rest of the network stays operational, the shutdown shouldn't affect Finland's electricity supply. There is however a risk that power could run short on Thursday.

"We will try to get at least one of the reactors back on the grid today," Arto Pahkin, manager of Fingrid's main grid control room, told Yle.

Fingrid posted a press release on Thursday morning that said there should be enough power in the grid from other sources to keep Finland humming for the day. This is however contingent on the rest of the grid working normally. Fingrid said it is prepared to start up reserve power plants to secure the balance between the production and consumption of electricity, if needed.

The shutdown began with a current transformer fire at a Fingrid substation on Wednesday. The fire caused the Olkiluoto 2 plant unit to be disconnected from the national grid, and during the repairs, the first reactor was also disconnected.

The Meilahti Hospital area in Helsinki lost power for about an hour on Wednesday, most likely due to disturbances on the grid because of the Olkiluoto fire.

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