Home » Finland’s Olkiluoto 3 nuclear power plant goes live

Finland’s Olkiluoto 3 nuclear power plant goes live

by Liam Turner
The Olkiluoto nuclear power plant in Finland

Regular electricity production has started at Finland’s Olkiluoto 3 [OL3] nuclear power plant, now Europe’s largest reactor.

The plant unit, which will produce energy for at least the next 60 years, has been delivered by owner Teollisuuden Voima (TVO).

From now on, about 30% of all Finnish electricity will be produced in Olkiluoto.

Commenting on the milestone, TVO president and CEO Jarmo Tanhua said: “The production of Olkiluoto 3 stabilises the price of electricity and plays an important role in the Finnish green transition.

“The electrification of the society continues and environmentally friendly electricity production is undoubtedly one of the top trump cards that Finland has.”

OL3 makes Finland almost self-sufficient, while also accelerating the country’s move toward carbon neutrality.

Marjo Mustonen, senior vice-president for Electricity Production, said: “This is a historical day – the benefits that we promised OL3 would bring to the Finnish society are realised.

“I am proud of all the nuclear professionals involved in the project.”

Finland now has five nuclear reactors, three in Olkiluoto and two in Loviisa.

The delivery of OL3 comes as Germany closes its last remaining nuclear power plants, following opposition from vociferous anti-nuclear-power campaigners.

Project delivery

OL3 has been nearly 20 years in the making, with work initially starting on the site in 2005.

The project is 14 years behind schedule, with the plant originally due to become fully operational in 2009.

The project had been repeatedly delayed due to issues including a shortage of experience designers and a shortage of qualified equipment manufacturers.

To deliver the Olkiluoto 3 project, people were employed from more than 80 different countries; at its peak, manpower on the site totalled 4,500.

The test production phase alone comprised some 3,300 tests, with more than 9,000 test reports collated.

The project had a “significant” impact on regional economy, particularly in the Satakunta region, according to TVO.

When the project was launched, nuclear power was supported by about 60% of Finns.

At present, the popularity of nuclear power sits at a record level, with 83% in favour.

Key facts about the OL3 plant:

  • OL3 produces electricity around 1,600 MW of energy
  • The plant unit is intrinsically operated at full power output
  • The first annual outages will take place in March 2024

Image: The Olkiluoto nuclear power plant in Finland. Credit: M.Pakats/Shutterstock

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