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Finland. OL3 is operational, the largest nuclear reactor in Europe has been launched

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In Finland, after about 14 years of delay, the largest nuclear reactor in Europe was launched. Olkiluoto 3 (OL3) with a capacity of 1.6 gigawatts (GW) increases energy security in the region after Russia reduced supplies of raw materials to the Old Continent, Reuters reported. The investment amounted to over EUR 8 billion.

The third reactor of the Olkiluoto power plant, located on the island of the same name in the Gulf of Bothnia, was connected to the national grid on Sunday morning. It is the largest unit of this type in Europe and the third in the world.

“This is a historic day. The OL3 reactor has started with a regular supply of electricity and is operating at full power,” Teollisuuden Voima (TVO), the plant’s operator, said. As indicated, the operation of the new reactor is scheduled for 60 years.

Currently, OL3 covers nearly 15 percent. domestic demand for electricity, and all three reactors together – about 30 percent. The Reuters agency reminded that the export of Russian energy to Finland ended last May.

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The third reactor of the Olkiluoto power plantTVO

The largest nuclear reactor in Europe was launched in Finland

The final commissioning of the OL3 pressurized water reactor, built by a Franco-German consortium, was long awaited in the country. The original plan was for the reactor to be ready in 2009. Due to various technical problems, including recently due to turbine failures, successive postponements of the commissioning date were reported more than 20 times in total.

Currently, it is emphasized that the project schedule was unrealistic, e.g. due to the lack of experience in the construction of reactors in recent decades. Nuclear energy has been phased out in Europe, e.g. In Germany, the last three nuclear power plants were shut down on Saturday. It is also about a new type of ERP reactor, which had to be adapted to Finnish safety requirements.

The Finnish authorities decided to build the reactor in the early 2000s. Work began in 2005. Multiple delays generated costs and it is estimated that the investment, which consumed over EUR 8 billion, is one of the most expensive construction projects in the world. Originally, costs were assumed at around EUR 3 billion.

The first two Olkiluoto reactors were constructed according to Swedish technology in the 1980s. In the country on the Gulf of Finland there is another nuclear power plant – Loviisa, about 100 km east of Helsinki. About 40 percent of electricity in the country is currently generated by these two nuclear power plants.

Main photo source: TVO

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