The Olkiluoto 3 nuclear power plant in Finland has started producing electricity, according to Finnish plant operator Teollisuuden Voima Oyj (TVO).

The plant, said to be Europe’s largest nuclear power plant, will boost Finland’s energy security by increasing domestic production and will operate for the next 60 years.

The 1600MW OL3 is now operated at full power output, with the first annual outages planned for March 2024.

TVO president and CEO Jarmo Tanhua, said in a statement: “The production of Olkiluoto 3 stabilizes 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.”

According to TVO, the Olkiluoto 3 project resulted in the employment of people from more than 80 different countries and at its highest, manpower on the site was 4,500. The test production phase alone comprised some 3,300 tests with more than 9,000 test reports collated.

The OL3 plant supplier consortium that has been constructing the plant consists of AREVA GmbH, AREVA NP SAS, and Siemens AG.

The contractual end of the Olkiluoto 3 nuclear project will occur once the analyses from the latest test production phase are completed.

Nuclear power in Finland

Currently, Finland has five operating nuclear reactors which provide 33% of the country’s generation capacity, according to the World Nuclear Association.

The reactors include two boiling water reactors supplied by the Swedish company Asea Atomb operated by TVO, two modified Russian pressurized water reactors operated by Fortum Corporation; and an EPR supplied by Areva and Siemens operated by TVO.

In terms of small modular reactors, the VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland is studying the potential use of SMRs for district heating and electricity generation, especially important as the government aims to phase out coal by 2029.

First published by Power Engineering International.

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