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Long-delayed Olkiluoto 3 nuclear reactor to go online in January 2020

The launch of Finland’s Olkiluoto 3 reactor has been postponed again. It is now to begin production in 2020, some 11 years behind schedule.

Olkiluodon rakenteilla oleva ydinvoimala.
File photo of Olkiluoto nuclear power plant. Image: TVO

Ongoing testing will again postpone the commissioning of the Olkiluoto nuclear power plant’s third unit. The reactor in Eurajoki, south-west Finland, was originally to have begun producing electricity in 2009.

The latest delay pushes the Olkiluoto 3 (OL3) schedule back a further four months from the previously announced September 2019 start-up, according to plant owner Teollisuuden Voima (TVO).

"We are disappointed in the schedule delays, but it is key that the entire commissioning is carried out carefully, without compromises,” said OL3 project director Jouni Silvennoinen in a statement on Thursday.

The initial connection to the grid and test period is to start next October, the company said.

5th and largest reactor

The 1.6-gigawatt OL3 will become Finland’s fifth and biggest reactor. TVO’s largest shareholders are the majority-state-owned Fortum and Pohjolan Voima, which in turn is primarily owned by forest product giants UPM and Stora Enso.

More than 2,000 people are still working at the OL3 site, with just over 300 from supplier Areva-Siemens overseeing the commissioning process along with staff from TVO.

As of last month, some about 90 percent of the structure’s 2,700 rooms had been completed.

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