Finland launches Europe’s largest nuclear reactor at full capacity

The construction of the power unit began 18 years ago.

Finland launches Europe's largest nuclear reactor at full capacity / photo

At the Finnish nuclear power plant Olkiluoto, the third power unit is being launched at full capacity. It will start regular power generation next night at 02:00 am.

According to the national broadcaster Yle, the power plant was connected to the grid in March 2022 and was already operating at full capacity.

During the trial run, there were power plant outages and power was generated at varying rates due to various maintenance and testing activities. Now the test phase ends and there should be no more interruptions in the operation of the station.

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The reactor will continue to operate at its full power of 1,600 megawatts (much more than the 660 megawatts of the first and second reactors and more powerful than any other reactor in Europe). After that, electricity production is expected to become more and more stable. The start of regular electricity production at the third power unit will not make the operation of the nuclear power plant more risky, experts emphasize.

Olkiluoto-3 – what is known about the nuclear reactor

The Olkiluoto Nuclear Power Plant has been in operation since 1978. In 1980, the second power unit was connected to the power system. In 2005, the construction of the third reactor started, whose capacity is 2.5 times higher than the capacity of the first and second reactors.

The construction and commissioning of the third power unit of the power plant took a long time, including due to the delay in design work.

During the operation of the power unit in a test mode, the price of electricity in the country has already significantly decreased. In the long term, electricity prices in Finland may fall even lower. As many wind farms are completed and Olkiluoto 3 is fully operational, grid company Fingrid predicts that Finland will have “the cheapest electricity in Europe.”

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