Finland nuclear power station reactor continues to be dogged with problems

The Olkiluoto nuclear power station in western Finland.
The Olkiluoto nuclear power station in western Finland. Source: ERR

The start-up of a reactor at a nuclear power plant in Finland has been delayed once again, which may disrupt power supply in Estonia's northern neighbor in the coming winter, ETV news show 'Aktuaalne kaamera' (AK) reported Wednesday.

The Teollisuuden Voima's Olkiluoto (TVO) 3 nuclear reactor,, 50km south of Pori in western Finland, has been under construction since 2005 but has been subject to delays ever since; it was originally slated to start regularly generating electricity to the grid in 2009 but to date has yet to do so.

Finland's grid distributor has now warned of possible power supply disruptions in the coming winter if the new reactor does not start operating as planned.

The glitch related to pumps which feed water needed to cool the reactor, while public broadcaster Yle has recently reported more than one turbine problem at the reactor.

Olkiluoto 3 remains in testing phase; in 2021, TVO said that it expected full commercial operations to start early this year.

The Russian invasion of Ukraine has also changed the energy situation in Finland, as it has done in Estonia.

Both Finland and Estonia are part of the Nord Pool trading exchange, and also have an undersea gas pipeline linking the two countries, which in fact remains Finland's only such international connection after the Russian Federation cut of its supply of natural gas in the summer.

A vessel carrying Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) as a substitute is now sailing for Finland, though facilities exist in Estonia for it to bunker also.

Estonia has no nuclear power station at present, though calls for a small nuclear plant to be built were commonly heard even before the current energy crisis, and it could potentially have a nuclear plant online by 2035, politicians say.


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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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