Finland's Olkiluoto 3 nuclear reactor faces another delay

A general view of the unfinished Olkiluoto-3 nuclear reactor in Eurajoki
A general view of the unfinished Olkiluoto-3 nuclear reactor in Eurajoki, Finland August 17, 2017. REUTERS/Lefteris Karagiannopoulos

OSLO, Aug 23 (Reuters) - The start of Finland's much-delayed Olkiluoto 3 nuclear reactor has been pushed back by a further three months, with full power production now scheduled for June 2022, operator TVO said in a statement late on Friday.

"Teollisuuden Voima Oyj (TVO) has received additional information from the plant supplier Areva-Siemens consortium that the regular electricity production of the OL3 EPR plant unit will be further postponed for three months due to extended turbine overhaul and inspection works," TVO said.

First electricity production from the reactor, which has a capacity of 1.6 gigawatts (GW), is now scheduled for February, with regular electricity production to start in June next year.

Olkiluoto 3 was meant to be finished in 2009 but the project has been beset by a series of setbacks.

The Finnish Nuclear Safety Authority (STUK) in March this year gave a permit to start loading fuel, supporting a plan to begin electricity production in October.

But TVO in late July pushed back the date to November to allow for extra work on overhauling and inspecting turbines, and now points to February as the expected startup.

There are four nuclear reactors operational in Finland. Olkiluoto 3 will be its first new nuclear facility in four decades, with another project by a Finnish-Russian consortium underway.

Reporting by Nora Buli, editing by Terje Solsvik

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