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Olkiluoto 3 delayed by at least 2 years

10.08.2007 Lauri Myllyvirta

The delays in the building of the Olkiluoto 3 nuclear reactor in Finland announced today prove yet again that nuclear power is a dangerous and costly diversion from the real solutions to climate change, say Greenpeace. The setbacks are the result of problems reinforcing the reactor building to withstand an airplane crash. Olkiluoto is the only example of a European Pressurised Reactor (EPR), the flagship of the nuclear renaissance, on which construction work has been started.

Greenpeace comment

Jan Beránek, Greenpeace International nuclear campaigner said:
“The nuclear industry says it has changed, and the EPR is their flagship in claiming to provide a low-cost ‘mature’ carbon neutral technology. The chronic delays and setbacks at the Olkiluoto plant shows that this new design carries all of the same old problems: complications, escalating costs, chronic safety issues, delays and a lack of transparency.”

The reactor designers knew as far back as 2001 that it would have to be able to withstand an airplane attack. The Finnish public was falsely promised that this was the case when the construction license was issued.

The company responsible, TVO, also estimated that the1600 MW reactor would cost €2.5 billion and take four years to build. The costs now exceed four billion euros, and the reactor construction is at least two years behind schedule. The project was supposed to require no public subsidies, but in reality is reliant on an export guarantee financed by French and Swedish taxpayers, and a dirt-cheap loan from public banks.

Greenpeace’s Energy Revolution blueprint clearly shows how the world’s energy needs can be met through renewable energy and greater energy efficiency without recourse to nuclear power. By diverting the resources urgently needed to achieve this, nuclear power undermines the true solutions to climate change.

“The warnings from the Olkiluoto nuclear fiasco must be heeded by other governments. Nuclear power is an expensive distraction from the real solutions to climate change. No more time or money should be squandered on this deadly twentieth century relic.”

Greenpeace demand that the companies involved, TVO and STUK immediately make public the list of quality and safety problems in the Olkiluoto reactor construction. There are now 1500 listed quality deviations and many of reactor components crucial to reactor safety have been remanufactured or repaired.

Jan Beránek, Greenpeace International Nuclear Campaigner, +31 6 51 109 558
Harri Lammi, Greenpeace Nordic Programme Director, +358 9 622 922 18