06.05.2009 Lauri Myllyvirta
Leaked communication between the Finnish nuclear regulator STUK and the constructor of Olkiluoto AREVA has revealed that there are severe problems with designing the control systems of the world’s largest, prototype nuclear reactor.
Helsinki, December 9, 2008
Chief Executive Officer
33, rue La Fayette
F-75442 Paris Cedex 09
Dear Mrs. Lauvergeon,
With this letter I want to express my great concern on the lack of progress in the design of Olkiluoto 3 NPP automation.
The construction of Olkiluoto 3 plant seems to proceed generally well but I cannot see real progress being made in the design of the control and protection systems. Without a proper design that meets the basic principles of nuclear safety, and is consistently and transparently derived from the concept presented as an annex to the construction license application, I see no possibility to approve these important systems for installation. This would mean that the construction will come to a halt and it is not possible to start commissioning tests.
I expressed my concern on this already in spring 2008, in a meeting with Mr. Xavier Jacob and TVO’s management. After that Areva organised a workshop at professional level in Erlangen on April 23-25, 2008. The goal of the workshop was to clarify the open technical issues. I was told afterwards that it was a successful event where our concerns were conveyed to your experts and were well understood by them. It was expecially encouraging to hear that after the workshop a group led by an expert of high repute, Dr. Graf, was given a task to make sure that the issues be addressed promptly.
Since then there have been several meetings among our experts but we have not seen expected progress in the work on Areva side. The systems with highest safety importance are to be designed by Areva NP SAS but unfortunately the attitude or lack of professional knowledge of some persons who speak in the expert meetings on behalf of that organisation prevent to make progress in resolving the concerns. Therefore, evident design errors are not corrected and we are not receiving design documentation with adequate information and verifiable design requirements. This is unfortunate because I am convinced that within your organisation there is enough competence to resolve all open issues. I wonder how this competence is actually being used in this project and whether an input by Dr. Graf and his group has been actually utilised.
I sincerely hope you could initiate some action in this area, in order to ensure bringing the construction of Olkiluoto 3 to a successful end.
With my best regards,
Director General, STUK