It has been six months since the regular electricity production of the Olkiluoto 3 nuclear power plant unit started. Actually, it’s been a bit more than six months, as OL3 began regular electricity production on April 16.
OL3 has been supplying electricity to the national grid for even longer. A significant date in history is also March 12, 2022. At that time, at 12:01, OL3 initiated its electricity production for the first time, although it was still clearly in a trial phase.
Olkiluoto 3 is by far the most powerful plant unit in Finland. Its maximum capacity of approximately 1600 MW is in a league of its own. However, the gold medal was already at Olkiluoto, which now fills the entire podium. Second and third place are held by Olkiluoto 1 and Olkiluoto 2, which have been in operation for more than 40 years and have a power output of approximately 890 MW.
The largest and most modern coal-fired power plant in Finland is the Meri-Pori plant. The plant, which was completed in 1994, has an electrical power of 560 MW. This amounts to approximately a third of OL3’s capacity. On the hydroelectric side, the pole position is held by the Imatra Hydro Power plant, with an output of approximately 192 MW.
As OL1 and OL2, which are over forty years old, demonstrate, the lifespans of nuclear power plants are long. And, as we announced last week, TVO is considering extending the operational life of both of its older plant units by at least 10 years. On the other hand, OL3, the youngest on the island, was originally designed with a minimum operational lifespan of 60 years. This means that there will be weather-independent and clean energy available for Finland for a very long time.
As is well known, the OL3 project’s schedule was significantly delayed. However, since the commencement of regular electricity production, the plant has been operating as expected, without any production interruptions. This certainly speaks to the significance of the commissioning period and its success. Actual production at the plant began only after a series of comprehensive and meticulously performed test runs.
The newest addition to the plant’s production has already taken the lead in electricity production at Olkiluoto. OL3 surpassed the 7 000 GWh mark in electricity production in September, which is roughly equivalent to the good annual production of the OL1/OL2 plant unit.
In Finland’s energy mix, Olkiluoto’s total production plays a very significant role. Currently, about 30 percent of the electricity is generated here in Olkiluoto, Eurajoki.