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OL3 Problems No Surprise

04.12.2006 Lauri Myllyvirta

TVO has announced today that the completion of OL3 nuclear project will be delayed 18 months instead of 12 months. According to Greenpeace, the main reason is Areva’s attempt to push down costs at the expense of safety and reliability.

Greenpeace media advisory Dec 4, 2006

– Areva has been choosing the cheapest subcontractors regardless of whether they have sufficient competence or not. E.g. the steel part of the reactor container was hand welded in a Polish machine yard. TVO wanted cheap nuclear power and that’s what it got, said GP Energy Campaigner Lauri Myllyvirta.

– The problems do not mean only financial setbacks. The safety and reliability of the reactor after completion are also in question, as even the Finnish Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority has said that all problems may not be detected or fixed – especially as Areva has tried to cover up the problems and told outright lies to Finnish officials for months.

Four units of the predecessor of EPR, the N4, were built in France, only one of which was completed in less than ten years. All of them were completed 2-3 years behind schedule – e.g. three of them were shut down for a year.

– Counting on nuclear power has already costed the Finns more than increasing renewable energy and improving efficiency of energy use would have. The price of the delay will be paid by electricity users and also taxpayers due to the higher need for emission credits.

Finnish Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority investigation report on OL3