Hyppää sisältöön

Minister Lintilä: Olkiluoto 3 to start producing electricity this winter

Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment
Publication date 16.12.2021 13.21
Press release
Kuvassa ministeri Lintilä

On 16 December 2021, the Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority (STUK) issued criticality and low power test permits to Teollisuuden Voima Oyj (TVO) Olkiluoto 3 nuclear power unit (OL3), which means that the company can for the first time start a nuclear reaction in the new reactor.

On 16 December 2021, the Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority (STUK) issued criticality and low power test permits to Teollisuuden Voima Oyj (TVO) Olkiluoto 3 nuclear power unit (OL3), which means that the company can for the first time start a nuclear reaction in the new reactor. 

STUK will monitor the starting and low power tests of the reactor on site at Olkiluoto. TVO will gradually increase the power of the reactor. TVO will need separate permits from STUK to increase the power output to more than 5%, 30% and 60% of the reactor’s total output.

During the low power tests, the plant unit will not yet be synchronised with the national power grid. According to TVO, the unit will be connected to the national grid for the first time in January 2022. After that, preparations will be made for regular commercial production at full capacity, which is estimated to start in June 2022.

“We are now close to a moment when OL3 will begin to produce large amounts of emissions-free domestic electricity which is sorely needed by our electrifying society. When it operates at full capacity, the plant can produce approximately 13 terawatt hours of electricity per year. This will significantly increase Finland’s self-sufficiency in electricity. OL3 will increase the annual domestic electricity production to nearly 80 terawatt hours, which means that self-sufficiency will rise to more than 90%,” says Minister of Economic Affairs Mika Lintilä.

Safety throughout the plant’s life cycle must be at the heart of operations 

“The most important thing with nuclear power is to ensure the safety of the power plant. Safety has not been compromised at any stage during the construction process and commissioning of OL3. As licence holder of the plant, TVO is responsible for its safety, while STUK is in charge of the supervision,” Lintilä adds.

Olkiluoto 3 is the first nuclear power plant in the world to have a fully designed and operational waste management system ready at the commissioning stage. The spent fuel of the unit will be placed in Posiva’s final disposal facility in Olkiluoto bedrock, which is the first of its kind in the world. 

On 7 March 2019, the Finnish Government granted an operating licence under section 20 of the Nuclear Energy Act to OL3 nuclear power plant unit. The licence will remain in effect until 31 December 2038. STUK granted the facility a fuel loading permit on 26 March 2021. The planned operating life of OL3 is at least 60 years. However, the unit’s technical life may be considerably longer.

OL3 will be the biggest power plant unit in the Nordic and Baltic electricity markets. When it operates at full capacity, the plant can produce electricity at a capacity of 1,600 megawatts. This will reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Finland by millions of tonnes, while the share of emissions-free electricity production will increase in Finland to more than 90%. 

Inquiries:
Liisa Heikinheimo, Deputy Director General, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, tel. +358 29 504 7035 
Riku Huttunen, Director General, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, tel. +358 50 431 6518 
Jukka Ihanus, State Secretary to Minister of Economic Affairs Mika Lintilä, tel. +358 29 504 7259
 

 
Sivun alkuun