"The European Pressurized Reactor (EPR) under construction in Finland may not start operating until late 2018 — putting the project nearly 10 years behind its initial schedule.
Finnish utility Teollisuuden Voima (TVO) said in a statement on 1 September that the AREVA-Siemens consortium building Olkiluoto 3 had updated its schedule. The schedule review, which 'has been going on for some time,' is still a 'work-in-progress,' noted the company.
'However, it is hard for us to accept such a late start-up forecast given by the supplier because the completion degree is high, the completed works fulfill very high technical standards, and we know what the remaining works are,' said Jouni Silvennoinen, a TVO spokesperson.
According to AREVA, the principal driver of recent delays to the project has been the reactor instrumentation & control (I&C) system approval. 'After a four year period of exchanges with TVO, the I&C architecture was finally approved in April 2014, giving the consortium a key visibility element to schedule the completion of the project,' the company said.
The updated schedule is based on 'key assumptions and commitments concerning TVO's cooperation as the owner of the plant,' AREVA added. 'From the beginning of the project, the role of the owner is essential to the progress on the project, for example to facilitate the review of technical and safety matters by [Finnish regulators], even more during the commissioning phase which is to come.'
The consortium and TVO are expected to hold workshops to 'optimise' the reactor's commissioning over the coming months..."
POWER 9 September. SONAL PATEL
LEHTIKUVA / Heikki Saukkomaa