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TVO still failing to address Olkiluoto misconducts

23.01.2009 Lauri Myllyvirta

Documents published by the Finnish nuclear safety watchdog STUK have again confirmed misconducts unveiled by Greenpeace at the Olkiluoto nuclear construction site. Furthermore, the documents show that the buyer of the reactor, Finnish utility TVO, has still failed to address many of the problems. Qualifications of welders and the use of mandatory welding guidelines are still not being systematically controlled; information flow is hampered as managers and workers in many cases don’t have a common language; and training on nuclear safety is not being provided to all workers as required.

– TVO claimed last autumn that safety requirements have been followed since 2006, but now STUK is requiring them for the third time to address the misconducts. The French vendor of the reactor, Areva, continues to turn a deaf ear to official requirements and orders, as it has done from the very start of te project, Greenpeace energy campaigner Lauri Myllyvirta said.

The problems in safety culture that TVO is now being urged to break down, were revealed last autumn in a special inspection by Finnish authorities. The inspection was carried out after Greenpeace and Finnish TV unveiled evidence on severe and widespread neglect of nuclear safety requirements.

– Violations of nuclear safety requirements have gone on in Olkiluoto for years and TVO is still delaying action. It is hard to conceive, how misconducts of this scale could not affect the quality and accident risk of the reactor, Myllyvirta stressed.

Energy campaigner Lauri Myllyvirta, +358 50 362 5981
Communications manager Juha Aromaa, puhelin +358 50 369 6202

Examples of requirements laid out by STUK
“Principles of nuclear industry safety culture: TVO shall arrange general training to people already working at the construction site.”

“TVO has not proposed measures to ensure, that everyone coming to work at the site is given adequate introductory training before starting independent work.”

“TVO has not proposed measures to ensure, that welders performing installation welds have welding guidelines with them and are capable of using the guidelines.”

“TVO shall prove by Feb 28, 2009, that there is a welding expert available to the construction workers also during installation welding.”

“TVO shall submit a report on managers who do not have a common language with their subordinates and describe how conversation between the manager and the worker is possible in these cases.”