Olkiluoto 3, a much delayed first-of-its-kind EPR nuclear plant project under construction in Finland, has begun hot functional tests and should begin generating electricity in May 2019, according to Finnish utility Teollisuuden Voima Oyj (TVO).
TVO on December 19 said hot functional tests underway at the reactor, which are part of commissioning, are expected to take several months. The tests essentially operate the reactor cooling system and auxiliary systems together for the first time without fuel, simulating operating pressure and temperature. If they are successfully completed, TVO said “it will be possible to obtain an operating license for [the EPR] and continue the project towards nuclear commissioning.”
On December 21, TVO meanwhile said shareholders agreed to a loan commitment of €150 million ($178 million) that its board of directors had proposed in November to maintain an equity ratio needed to complete the EPR project.
An AREVA-Siemens consortium began construction of Olkiluoto 3 in 2005 under a €3 billion fixed-price turnkey contract signed with TVO in 2003. However, while completion of the project was originally scheduled for 2009, the project has suffered several setbacks.
Read more about this Finish nuclear project on Power.