Delays in the construction of a third reactor at the Olkiluoto Nuclear Power Plant contributed to the decision of TVO not to apply for a construction license for a fourth reactor.The board of directors of Teollisuuden Voima Oyj (TVO) decided on Wednesday not to file a license application for the construction of a fourth reactor at the Olkiluoto Nuclear Power Plant.

The board of directors is to propose to the extraordinary general that it waive its right to apply for a construction license, essentially guaranteeing that no license application will be presented before the Parliament.

The nuclear energy utility will therefore scrap its plans to build a fourth reactor at the site for now.

The Finnish Government granted TVO an in-principle decision for the construction project in 2010, stipulating that the utility must apply for a formal construction license for the reactor by the end of next month.

The decision to scrap the expansion plans is largely attributable to considerable delays in the construction of a third reactor at the Olkiluoto Nuclear Power Plant. The third reactor was initially scheduled for completion already in 2009 but remains under construction and is currently expected to be completed in 2018.

Last summer, the nuclear energy utility proposed to the Finnish Government that a five-year extension be granted for its in-principle decision. Jan Vapaavuori (NCP), the Minister of Economic Affairs, turned down the plea on grounds that the extension would have jeopardised the workings of the domestic electricity market.

TVO emphasises, however, that it has yet to abandon the expansion project entirely.

“There is still a need for emission-free base-load power production in Finland. Olkiluoto 4 is important for us and therefore we will be prepared to apply for a new decision-in-principle. Decision on a new application submission will be made separately,” Jarmo Tanhua, the chief executive at TVO, states in a bulletin.

Heikki Arola – HS
Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Photo: Jussi Partanen