Finland close to having Europe’s largest nuclear reactor

Although the nuclear plant, which has been under construction since 2005, was supposed to be up and running by 2009, the country’s radiation and nuclear safety authority (STUK) only gave its permission to load the plant with fuel on Friday. [Shutterstock/Max Sky]

After years of delay, budget overruns and contractual arguments, the construction of Olkiluoto 3 – Finland’s fifth nuclear reactor built by French-German consortium Areva-Siemens – is finally nearing completion. It is set to become Europe’s largest nuclear reactor and arguably one of the world’s most modern.

Although the nuclear plant, which has been under construction since 2005, was supposed to be up and running by 2009, the country’s radiation and nuclear safety authority (STUK) only gave its permission to load the plant with fuel on Friday.

The €3 billion cost initially estimated for the plant rose to €8.4 billion due to safety concerns and faulty components. Lawsuits followed and negotiations between Finnish company TVO and the Areva-Siemens consortium about the terms of the project’s completion are still ongoing. 

The reactor’s pressure vessel will be loaded with 241 fuel assemblies consisting of 128 tons of Uranium, and regular electricity production is said to start in February 2022. 

Situated in Eurajoki, in Finland’s southwestern part, the reactor will be producing about 14% of Finland’s electricity. (Pekka Vänttinen | EURACTIV.com)

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