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Olkiluoto

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Olkiluoto

Olkiluoto Nuclear Power Plant
Olkiluoto island with the two existing units, and the third (leftmost) unit shown as complete (this is a manipulated image).
Olkiluoto Nuclear Power Plant
Location of Olkiluoto Nuclear Power Plant
Country Finland
Location Eurajoki
Coordinates

61°14′13″N 21°26′27″E / 61.23694°N 21.44083°E / 61.23694; 21.44083Coordinates: 61°14′13″N 21°26′27″E / 61.23694°N 21.44083°E / 61.23694; 21.44083

Status Operational
Construction began 1973
Commission date 10 October 1979
Owner(s) Teollisuuden Voima Oy
Reactor
Reactors operational 2×880 MW
Reactors under construction 1×1,600 MW
Reactors planned 1×1,000–1,800 MW
Reactor supplier(s) ASEA-Atom (units 1 and 2)
Areva (unit 3)
Turbine manufacturer(s) Stal-Laval (units 1 and 2)
Siemens (unit 3)
Power generation
Installed capacity 1,760 MW
Annual generation 14,268 GW·h
Net generation 323,760 GW·h
Website 
As of 10 August 2012

The Olkiluoto Nuclear Power Plant (Finnish: Olkiluodon ydinvoimalaitos) is on Olkiluoto Island, which is on the shore of the Gulf of Bothnia in the municipality of Eurajoki in western Finland. It is one of Finland's two nuclear power plants, the other being the two-unit VVER Loviisa Nuclear Power Plant. The plant is operated by Teollisuuden Voima, a subsidiary of Pohjolan Voima.

The Olkiluoto plant consists of two Boiling Water Reactors (BWRs) with 860 MWe each. Unit 3, the first EPR (European Pressurized water Reactor) is under construction, but various problems with workmanship and supervision have created costly delays which have been the subject of an inquiry by the Finnish nuclear regulator Säteilyturvakeskus (STUK).[1] In December 2012, Areva estimated that the full cost of building the reactor will be about €8.5 billion, or almost three times the delivery price of €3 billion.[2][3] A license for a fourth reactor to be built at the site was granted by the Finnish parliament in July 2010.[4][5][6]

Units 1 and 2

Units 1 and 2 consists of two BWRs with 880 MW each.[7] The main contractor was ASEA-Atom, now a part of Westinghouse Electric Sweden AB. Turbine generators were supplied by Stal-Laval. The units' architecture was designed by ASEA-Atom. The reactor pressure vessels were constructed by Uddcomb Sweden AB, and reactor internal parts, mechanical components by Finnatom. The electrical equipment was supplied by Strömberg.[8] Unit 1 was constructed by Atomirakennus and unit 2 by Jukola and Työyhtymä.[9][10] Unit 1 achieved its initial criticality in July 1978 and it started commercial operations in October 1979.[9] Unit 2 achieved its initial criticality in October 1979 and it started commercial operations in July 1982.[10]

Major upgrades were carried out to the units in 2010 and 2011, including replacement of turbines and generators, isolation valves, electrical switchgear and seawater pumps. The upgrades increased the net electrical output by 20 MW to 880 MW each.[11]

Unit 3


In February 2005, the Finnish cabinet gave its permission to TVO to construct a new nuclear reactor, making Finland the first Western European country in 15 years to order one.[12] The price was estimated as €3.2 billion and construction time as four years.

The construction of the unit began in 2005. It is the first European Pressurized Reactor (EPR), which is a type of third generation PWR, to have gone into construction. It will have a nameplate capacity of 1600 MW. Japan Steel Works and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries manufactured the unit's 526-ton reactor pressure vessel.[13]

At the start of construction, the main contractor was Areva NP, a joint venture of Areva and Siemens. However, in 2009, Siemens sold its one-third share of Areva NP to Areva, which is now the main contractor.[14][15] Siemens remained on the project as the subcontractor with the main responsibility for constructing the turbine hall.

According to TVO, the construction phase of the project would create a total of about 30,000 person-years of employment directly and indirectly; that the highest number of on-site employees has been almost 4,400; and that the operation phase would create 150 to 200 permanent jobs.[16]

Timeline

main milestones of the project and other surrounding events[15][17][18]
date event
Dec. 2000 TVO applies to the Finnish cabinet for a decision-in-principle on the new unit[19]
17 Jan. 2002 decision-in-principle by the Finnish cabinet
24 May 2002 the Finnish parliament approves the decision-in-principle
8 Jan. 2004 TVO submits construction application to the Finnish cabinet
17 Feb. 2005 the Finnish cabinet approves the construction application
July 2005 start of construction
May 2006 lifting and installation of the bottom part of containment liner
June 2007 reactor building containment liner rises to level +12.5 m
May 2008 fuel building APC shell completed
2009 Siemens withdraws from the joint venture with Areva, leaving the latter as the main contractor
Jan. 2009 reactor pressure vessel and vessel head arrive on site
May 2009 main control room lifting in Safeguard Building 2
summer 2009 polar crane installation, dome installation
autumn 2009 steam generators arrive on site
Sep. 2009 EPR dome installed
June 2010 installation of the reactor pressure vessel in the reactor building
June 2011 Anne Lauvergeon leaves her position as CEO of Areva[20]
Nov. 2011 installation of heavy components of the primary cooling system complete
July 2012 delay in start of production to no earlier than 2015 announced[5]
December 2012 Areva estimates that the full cost of building the reactor will be about €8.5 billion, or almost three times the delivery price of €3 billion[2][3]

Construction delays

The first license application for the third unit was made in December 2000[21] and the date of the unit's entry into service was estimated to be May 2009.[22] However, since the start of construction, several delays to the schedule have been announced; most recently in July 2012, when TVO announced that the unit would not go into service before 2015,[5][23] six years after the original estimate. In a statement, the operator said it was "not pleased with the situation" although solutions to various problems were being found and work was "progressing," and that it was waiting for a new launch date from Areva and Siemens.[6]

After construction of the unit started in 2005, Areva began constructing EPRs in Flamanville, France, and in Taishan, China. However, as of July 2012, the construction of the EPR in France is four years behind schedule,[6] and it seems that the two EPRs being constructed in China will be the first ones to enter service.[23]

The delays have been due to various problems with planning, supervision, and workmanship,[5] and have been the subject of an inquiry by STUK, the Finnish nuclear safety regulator.[24] The first problems that surfaced were irregularities in the foundation concrete, and caused a delay of months. Later, it was found that subcontractors had provided heavy forgings that were not up to project standards and which had to be re-cast. An apparent problem constructing the reactor's unique double-containment structure also caused delays, as the welders had not been given proper instructions.[24]

In 2009, Petteri Tiippana, the director of STUK's nuclear power plant division, told the BBC that it was difficult to deliver nuclear power plant projects on schedule because builders were not used to working to the exacting standards required on nuclear construction sites, since so few new reactors had been built in recent years.[25]

Cost

The main contractor, Areva, is building the unit for a fixed price of €3 billion, so in principle, any construction costs above that price fall on Areva. In July 2012, those overruns were estimated at more than €2 billion.[23] and in December 2012, Areva estimated that the full cost of building the reactor would be about €8.5 billion, well over the previous estimate of €6.4 billion.[2] [3] Because of the delays, TVO and Areva are both seeking compensation from each other through the International Court of Arbitration—TVO is seeking €1.4 billion from Areva, and Areva is seeking €1.9 billion from TVO. In October 2013 TVO has demanded compensation from Areva €1.8 billion and Areva from TVO €2.6 billion.[26]

According to some estimates, Olkiluoto reactor would be the 5th or 6th most expensive structure in the world, even more expensive than the Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland.

Criticism

In 2009, professor Stephen Thomas wrote, "Olkiluoto has become an example of all that can go wrong in economic terms with new reactors," and that Areva and the TVO "are in bitter dispute over who will bear the cost overruns and there is a real risk now that the utility will default."[27]

The project has also been criticized by STUK because "instructions have not been observed in the welding of pipes and the supervision of welding."[24] STUK has also noted that there have been delays in submitting proper paperwork.[28][29]

Olkiluoto 3 was supposed to be the first reactor of 3+ generation which would pave the way for a new wave of identical reactors across Europe, safe, affordable, and delivered on time. The delays and cost overruns have had knock-on effects in other countries.[25]

The construction workforce includes about 3,800 employees from 500 companies. 80% of the workers are foreigners, mostly from eastern European countries. It has been reported that one Bulgarian contracting firm is owned by the mafia, and that Bulgarian workers have been required to pay weekly protection fees to the mafia, wages have been unpaid, employees have been told not to join a union and that employers also reneged on social security payments.[30] [31]

Unit 4

On 14 February 2008, TVO submitted an environmental impact assessment of the unit four to the Ministry of Employment and Economy.[32] On 21 April 2010, the Government of Finland decided to grant a permit to Teollisuuden Voima for construction of the fourth reactor in Olkiluoto. The decision was approved by the parliament on 1 July 2010.[33] If constructed, the fourth unit would be a PWR or a BWR with a power output of 1,000 to 1,800 MW.[32]

Onkalo spent nuclear fuel repository

Main article: Onkalo spent nuclear fuel repository

The Onkalo spent nuclear fuel repository is a deep geological repository for the final disposal of spent nuclear fuel, the first such repository in the world. It is currently under construction at the Olkiluoto plant by the company Posiva, owned by the nuclear power plant operators Fortum and TVO.

Agriculture

The residual heat in the cooling water (at 13 °C) is utilized for small-scale agriculture before being pumped back to the sea. The power plant hosts the northernmost vineyard in the world, a 0.1 ha experimental plot that yields 850 kg Zilga grapes annually.[34] Another use is a pond for growing crabs, whitefish and sturgeon for caviar.[35]

See also

Notes and references

External links

  • Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority in Finland
  • , R3123-A2, July 2005
  • , R3123-A2, July 2005
  • Status of Nuclear Power in Finland.
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