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More safety violations in Olkiluoto welding


Finnish nuclear watchdog found out in September, that the steel liner of the Olkiluoto reactor containment was once again welded using a substandard method at a Polish machine yard. An order to stop work was immediately ordered, but another inspection a few weeks later found the welders at work. [1] The nuclear companies’ supervision once again failed to detect, let alone prevent outright violations of nuclear safety standards.

In addition, the Finnish nuclear safety authority reports that the remanufactured primary coolant circuit piping has been found to suffer from the same defect that caused the rejection of the first pipes. The Finnish watchdog is, however, still considering whether the installation of the defective pipes should be permitted.

– The safety compromises allowed by the Finnish authorities are coming to haunt them. The Polish machine yard was originally busted more than two years ago for the same violations, but the authorities failed to require remanufacturing of the defective components. This seems to have taught the subcontractors, that cutting corners is possible. New violations are mounting at such a pace, that detection of all of them is unlikely. In the worst case scenario, an undetected defect can lead to an accident at some point during the planned 60 year lifespan of the reactor, Greenpeace energy campaigner Lauri Myllyvirta

– Olkiluoto 3 is at least EUR1.5 billion over budget and three years behind schedule. Emission reductions brought about by the plant are going to be a fraction of what Finns were told and, because of the delay, the reactor will not contribute at all to meeting Finland’s Kyoto target. The delay is set to cost rate payers EUR3 billion, or EUR600 per person. In short: All justifications for more nuclear power have been shattered with the Olkiluoto 3 project, Myllyvirta summarized.

1: Platts Nuclear News Flashes 30.10.2008: STUK finds more problems with
Olkiluoto-3 liner, forgings