EPR in Finland: foundation stone-laying day at Olkiluoto 3

Today, September 12, 2005, Teollisuuden Voima Oy (TVO) celebrated the laying of the foundation stone for its new nuclear power plant in Olkiluoto, Finland. This event took place a year and a half after the utility awarded the AREVA and Siemens consortium a contract to build an EPR(*).

The Olkiluoto 3 project has been making good progress. In mid-August the concrete for the common base slab was poured on site in the area of the future fuel building. Completion of the base slab is scheduled to take place in the very near future. In respect of the heavy components, the manufacture of all important items of equipment is also in progress. These include the reactor pressure vessel and the steam generators. The EPR is scheduled to start commercial operation in 2009.

Based on intensive R&D and the experience of nearly 100 nuclear power plants built worldwide, the EPR is the state-of-the-art technology in terms of economy, safety and environmental protection. The EPR will make it possible to lower significantly electricity generation costs not only compared to fossil-fired power plants but also to nuclear power plants currently in operation. Thanks to further enhanced accident prevention and control systems, the EPR also reaches a new reactor safety level.

"Finland, through an exemplary democratic process, has chosen to place nuclear power at the heart of its energy mix, for both economical and environmental reasons", said Anne Lauvergeon, Chairman of AREVA's Executive Board, at the ceremony. Lauvergeon added: "The Finnish EPR is the first reactor of the third generation under construction in the world and has shown the way to other utilities. Last year, France's EDF decided to launch one in Normandy. And we're confident that these commercial successes will be followed by many others, despite fierce international competition". The Olkiluoto 3 project is generating positive employment effects. Today, the construction consortium employs about 1300 people on the project, out of which more than 300 on site. During peak times there will be up to 2200 people working on site.

(*) Upon the turnkey contract terms, Framatome ANP will supply the nuclear island and Siemens Power Generation the turbine island. The overall Olkiluoto 3 project cost has been estimated by TVO at around 3 billion EUR.

Zdroj: Areva

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