Originally, the Finnish reactor Olkiluoto 3 was supposed to supply electricity since mid-2009. After more than 13 years, it went online overnight. In 2002, Finland was the first country in Europe to set the course for building new nuclear reactors after the Chernobyl disaster, thus ushering in a nuclear energy renaissance in Europe.

Finnish nuclear power plant Olkiluoto 3

picturedesk.com/Lehdikuva/Heikki Saukkomaa

The Finnish radiation protection authority STUK gave the go-ahead for the start-up of the third block in Olkiluoto last week. As the nuclear power plant operator, the Finnish energy company TVO, announced that the reactor will initially only operate at 30 percent. The full operation is scheduled to begin in June 2022.

Construction faults and defects

The construction of the third reactor at Olkiluto in western Finland was hit by many faults and construction defects which were successively corrected. A multi-billion dollar legal dispute has arisen between Finnish operator TVO and the Franco-German alliance Areva over various warranty claims.

Finland now has five nuclear power-producing reactors. A sixth was planned at the site of Pyhäjoki in northern Finland. The reactor named Hanhikivi has not yet been granted a building permit. Operator Fennovoima expects approval within the next year.

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