Monday April 12, 2021

Olkiluoto 3 granted fuel loading permit

Published : 26 Mar 2021, 13:23

Updated : 26 Mar 2021, 23:35

  DF Report

Photo source TVO.

The Finnish Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority (STUK) on Friday granted a fuel loading permit to Teollisuuden Voima Oyj’s Olkiluoto 3 nuclear power plant in Eurajoki, said the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment in a press release.

The use of the new unit is considered to start when the first batch of fuel is loaded into the reactor, after which the unit will be connected to the main grid in phases and become available to the Finnish and Nordic electricity markets.

According to the company, regular commercial electricity production at the plant will start in February 2022.

The government granted an operating licence to the Olkiluoto 3 nuclear power plant unit on 7 March 2019.

The licence will remain in effect until 31 December 2038. For the past two years, Teollisuuden Voima (TVO) has conducted system testing to finalise the plant.

“With Finland’s industry electrifying, we need significantly more clean and reliable electricity. STUK’s fuel loading permit for Olkiluoto 3 is a decisive step towards large-scale production of clean electricity, which is estimated to reduce Finland’s greenhouse gas emissions by several million tonnes. What is more, the share of Finnish electricity production that is emissions-free will already rise to 90%,” said Minister of Economic Affairs Mika Lintilä.

Under the terms of the operating licence, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment must confirm that the company has arranged to undertake the costs of nuclear waste management, in accordance with the provisions of chapter 7 of the Nuclear Energy Act.

In February 2021, TVO provided the state with collateral to cover its waste management obligation when the plant’s operations start. The collateral has been transferred to the State Treasury for safekeeping.

Olkiluoto 3 is the first nuclear power plant in the world to have a fully designed and operational waste management system ready at the commissioning stage.

With a power generation capacity of 1,600 megawatts, Olkiluoto 3 will become the largest power plant in the Nordic and Baltic countries and the largest nuclear power plant in Europe. When it operates at full capacity, the plant can produce approximately 13 terawatt hours (TWh) of electricity per year.