New postponement of Finnish nuclear reactor

Once again, the launch of the new Finnish nuclear reactor, Olkiluoto 3, has been postponed. The reactor is not expected to be launched until May 2019.

For several years, the Nordic power market has been waiting for the launch of the new Finnish nuclear reactor, Olkiluoto 3, but the project has turned in to a nightmare for both the Finnish government and the developers of the reactor, Areva. The original plan was that the reactor should start production already in 2010 but for years, the project has faced one problem after another, causing continuous delays and massive cost overruns. The establishment of the reactor started in 2005.

For a time, it had now been the plan that Olkiluoto 3 would launch in December 2018 but this plan has now fallen through as well. Monday, the Finnish nuclear operator TWO could announce that the startup of the reactor has been postponed until May 2019. In the press release, the operators said that there was still "substantial work" to be done on the reactor, and that security matters are still their top priority.

For some time, the market has feared that there would come a new postponement of the launch of the reactor. This particularly because the French developers, Areva, have once again been involved in problems with lacking security on some of the reactors that the company has built in France. Therefore, it was also limited how big fluctuations the relevant contracts on the Nordic power market saw when the news broke. The market had expected the news and already priced the extra delay in.

When it is complete, Olkiluoto 3 will have an installed capacity of 1600 MW, which will increase the total Finnish nuclear power capacity by approximately 35 %.