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TVO to miss Olkiluoto 4 licence application deadline

13 мая 2015
Новости отрасли

Finnish utility Teollisuuden Voima Oyj (TVO) does not plan to submit a construction licence application for the fourth unit at its Olkiluoto plant before its 2010 decision-in-principle expires next month. The company had earlier sought an extension to that decision.

Under Finnish law, government consideration and parliamentary ratification are required for a new nuclear reactor to ensure it is in society’s overall interests. TVO applied for a government decision-in-principle in 2008 to construct a 1000–1800 MWe pressurized water reactor or boiling water reactor as the fourth unit at Olkiluoto. The government made a favourable decision for the reactor in May 2010. The parliament’s ratification for that decision-in-principle was given the following month. That decision was valid for five years, meaning TVO must submit a construction licence application for the new reactor by 30 June.

In a statement, TVO said today that its board of directors will propose to its shareholders meeting that a construction licence for Olkiluoto 4 is not applied for during the validity of the decision-in-principle made in 2010.

The company said, “The proposal is justified by the delay of the start-up of Olkiluoto 3 plant unit. In this situation it is impossible to make significant Olkiluoto 4 related decisions necessary for the construction licence application within the current period of validity of the decision-in-principle”.

In May 2014, TVO requested a five-year extension to its 2010 decision-in-principle for Olkiluoto 4. Such an extension would have meant that the company would have had until the end of June 2020 in which to submit a construction licence application for the new unit. Delays in the start-up of unit 3 at Olkiluoto — the first of a kind EPR — prompted its request. The utility later asked the government to consider a new deadline for the end of March 2019.

However, in September the government said that setting a new deadline for acquiring a construction licence for Olkiluoto 4 was “not in line with the overall good of society”. In a 10–3 vote, the cabinet rejected TVO’s request for an extension of its decision-in-principle.

Five reactor designs had been under consideration for the new unit at Olkiluoto: Areva’s EPR, GE-Hitachi’s ESBWR, South Korea’s APR1400, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries’ APWR and Toshiba’s ABWR.

TVO president and CEO Jarmo Tanhua said, “There is still a need for emission-freebase-load power production in Finland. Olkiluoto 4 is important for us and therefore we will be prepared to apply for a new decision-in-principle.” He noted, “A decision on a new application submission will be made separately”.

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