TVO applies for Olkiluoto 3 nuclear plant operation

Teollisuuden Voima (TVO) Thursday filed for an operating license for the Olkiluoto 3 nuclear power plant unit, hoping to start electricity production in 2018, nearly a decade behind the original schedule. Meanwhile, protesters Thursday briefly stopped work at the Fennovoima nuclear plant construction site at Pyhäjoki.

Olkiluoto 3.
Olkiluoto 3 in December 2015. Image: Hannu Huovila / TVO

TVO's Olkiluoto 3 project moved closer to completion Thursday when it submitted an operating license application to the Finnish Ministry of Employment and the Economy. TVO said it expects to obtain the operating license towards the end of this year and to begin regular electricity production at the end of 2018.

TVO and its French contractor, an Areva-led consortium with Siemens, have filed billions of euros of claims and counter-claims over cost overruns and delays on the Olkiluoto 3 nuclear reactor project, which is nine years behind schedule. Both side reject responsibility and have taken their dispute to an arbitration tribunal. Areva is claiming 3.4 billion euros while TVO claims 2.6 billion.

Protest at Fennovoima site

Meanwhile, three protesters stopped preparatory building work at the proposed site of a nuclear power plant which the Finnish power consortium Fennovoima hopes to construct at Pyhäjoki.

Aktivistit protestoivat Fennovoiman työmaalla keväällä 2016
Police were called in to remove protesters Thursday afternoon. Image: Stop Fennovoima

The three chained and locked themselves to construction equipment at the site on Thursday afternoon. Police were called in to remove the protesters.

Anti-nuclear power activists have announced plans for a gathering at a protest camp near the building site during the last week of this month which is aimed at drawing opponents of the Fennovoima project, anti-militarists and other participants from around Finland and other parts of Europe. The protest camp was set up in April of last year.

Fennovoima's contractors cannot begin work on the nuclear power plant itself without a final building permit from the government. Estimates put the earliest date by which the government will grant a permit at 2018.

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