Nuclear power plant project in Finland delayed again, utility says

Finnish utility Teollisuuden Voima Oyj (TVO) on July 16 said the Olkiluoto 3 nuclear power plant will not be ready for electricity production by 2014, based on information provided by the Areva-Siemens consortium. TVO originally expected to bring the plant online in 2009, a project that was handed over to the consortium in 2005.

TVO said the Areva-Siemens consortium is constructing the unit with a fixed-price turnkey contract and is responsible for the time schedule. TVO also said it expects the consortium to update the overall schedule and provide a new confirmation and analysis of the completion date as well as clarification of the measures needed to keep up with the schedule.

“The plant unit's installation works and plant automation system engineering under the responsibility of the supplier have not progressed according to the supplier's schedules,” said Anna Lehtiranta, TVO senior vice president of Corporate Relations. “Even though we are not pleased with the situation and the fact that there have been repeated challenges with the time scheduling, works are progressing and solutions for remaining I&C items are fixed step by step.”

Areva, in response, released a statement that said in December 2011, the consortium and TVO jointly endorsed the establishment of a shared process to consolidate the OL3 schedule, saying the process aimed at optimizing the final phases of the project required intense coordination of the consortium partners with their client, TVO. The consortium had agreed with TVO on specific I&C tasks to be performed together in order to optimize this sensitive and crucial milestone of the project, Areva said.

“Despite the request of the consortium Areva-Siemens to TVO to act upon and support all efforts and challenging upcoming phases from end of construction to start-up of the plant, it appears that TVO has not been able to demonstrate so far a clear operational organization to support the main pre-requisites to this success,” Areva said.

On July 6, the consortium notified TVO that the planning had to be reassessed and, therefore, TVO would be bearing responsibility for any slippage, which appeared during late spring 2012, according to Areva.

TVO and Areva both said mechanical installations of all major components of the reactor plant have been completed, and major part of the piping installations has been carried out.

“Therefore, the consortium Areva-Siemens calls for its client’s full commitment to enable a clear future path for this project,” Areva said in its statement.

The Finnish government gave TVO permission to construct the new unit at Olkiluoto in 2002 and the Areva-Siemens consortium was selected as the preferred supplier in December 2003. The new unit is being built next to OL1 and OL2 and will be equipped with a 1,600 MW Areva EPR. As part of the consortium, Areva NP is responsible for the nuclear island, while Siemens constructs the turbine island.

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