The work of fortifying the new Olkiluoto 3 reactor building against a possible aeroplane crash has further delayed construction of the project. The development consortium of Areva and Siemens has informed Finnish utility Teollisuuden Voima Oy (TVO) that the execution of the works to achieve the contractually defined advanced safety features of the reactor building is taking longer than anticipated. According to the new schedule, the main civil construction works of the reactor building will continue until winter 2009 – works planned to be completed by the autumn of 2008. It is likely that the new reported delays in the construction works will postpone the start of commercial operation of the plant to 2011, according to OL3 project director, Martin Landtman. Landtma added that TVO is disappointed that the supplier is only now reporting the time that it believes is needed to complete the civil construction works.

TVO says this additional time will undoubtedly impact the start of some of the erection and installation works, and is reviewing plans for mitigating the delays, and for the completion of the remaining works. TVO will then be in a position to say when completion of the plant can be expected. This announcement will probably not be made until after civil construction is finished in 2009.

Meanwhile, the reactor building liner reached a level of +12 m early in the summer and the installation of equipment including the main condenser, pumps, and heat exchangers has commenced. The turbine foundation, which belongs to Siemens’ scope of services, has also been concreted. Most of the main manufacturing operations for the reactor pressure vessel, such as welding of primary nozzles, have been completed. Tubing of the first steam generator has been completed and tests are starting. The reactor coolant pipes are being re-forged with an enhanced process.