Europe’s Largest Nuclear Reactor Offline After Fault

Mon Nov 20 2023
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HELSINKI: Europe’s largest nuclear reactor, Finland’s Olkiluoto 3, shut down automatically on Sunday due to a technical glitch but is likely to return to production on Tuesday after repairs, operator TVO said.

TVO said in a statement on Monday that the Olkiluoto 3 unit was in normal production when a fault in the turbine plant automatically halted the facility’s electricity production. The facility operated as intended during the problem.

It said that the cause of the fault was revealed to be a malfunctioning temperature measurement in the generator’s cooling system. However, the incident had no impact on nuclear safety, according to AFP.

TVO said the reactor was likely to return to production on Tuesday at noon (1000 GMT) following repairs.

The next-generation European pressurized water reactor (EPR), manufactured by the French-led Areva-Siemens consortium, produces around 14% of Finland’s electricity.

It was put into regular service in April 2023, some eighteen years after construction started and fourteen years after it was originally scheduled to go into commercial production.

Like several other EPR projects, it was plagued by many construction delays and billions of dollars in cost overruns.

Largest Nuclear Reactor’s capacity

With a capacity of producing 1,600 megawatts, Olkiluoto 3 is the single largest nuclear reactor in Europe, while Ukraine’s Zaporizhian plant, with its six reactors, is the largest nuclear plant.

Nuclear technology has witnessed renewed popularity in recent years as a way to reduce carbon emissions.

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