9 Oct (NucNet): Finland’s Teollisuuden Voima Oyj (TVO) has announced a further delay to its Olkiluoto-3 EPR nuclear station project with commercial operation now scheduled to begin in May 2019, the company said in a statement on 9 October 2017.
The previous schedule, announced in July 2017, planned for the start of commercial operation at the end of 2018.
TVO said the revised schedule for the plant, which is now more than nine years behind its original schedule, followed a “baseline review” by plant supplier Areva-Siemens.
According to Areva-Siemens, first connection to the grid will take place in December 2018.
TVO’s senior vice-president for the Olkiluoto-3 project, Jouni Silvennoinen, said the company was “very disappointed” by the additional delay.
“There is still substantial work to be accomplished on Olkiluoto-3 and it is essential that all the necessary technical, human and financial resources are allocated to the project,” he said.
Mr Silvennoinen said the restructuring of the French nuclear industry must not compromise the project.
In September 2017, TVO appealed to the European Union’s General Court of Justice against a January 2017 decision by the European Commission to approve France’s state financing of Areva’s restructuring.
TVO said it was not opposed in principle to the involvement of the French state in the Areva restructuring, provided that TVO’s needs for Olkiluoto-3’s construction are fully taken into account.
In January 2017, the EC’s anti-trust regulators found that the French government’s plans to grant a capital injection of €4.5bn ($5.2bn) to Areva were in line with EU state aid rules and did not constitute an unfair advantage to its competitors.
Earlier this year TVO received a second final and binding partial award in the International Chamber of Commerce arbitration proceeding related to delays and costs at Olkiluoto-3.
A previous partial award, which addressed the early period of the project in relation to schedule, licensing and system design, was granted in November 2016 and was also favourable to TVO.
The Olkiluoto-3 EPR was procured from Areva-Siemens as a fixed-price turnkey project.
In October 2014, Areva-Siemens increased an arbitration claim against TVO to €3.5bn for cost overruns on the project. TVO made a counterclaim for delays of €2.3bn.