Säteilyturvakeskus (STUK)

Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority (STUK): Operating licence can be granted to Olkiluoto 3

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Today on 25 February 2019, the Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority (STUK) has given a statement to the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment of Finland according to which the operation of the new nuclear power plant unit OL3, constructed in Olkiluoto, Eurajoki by Teollisuuden Voima, is safe. STUK sees no obstacle to granting an operating licence to the plant. The Finnish Government will decide on the operating licence.

The statement given by STUK to the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment of Finland is based on an overall safety assessment. While supervising and preparing the safety assessment, STUK has assessed, besides the technical and structural safety, also the preparedness of Teollisuuden Voima’s organization and employees to operate the plant safely.

STUK’s Project Manager Minna Tuomainen appointed for the safety control OL3 points out that the licence-holder i.e. Teollisuuden Voima is responsible for the safety of the plant and its operation.

The operating licence of a nuclear power plant is always granted for a limited period of time. STUK sees no obstacle to granting an operating licence to Teollisuuden Voima’s plant until the end of 2038 as set out in the application. The conclusion of the safety assessment is that the plant has been constructed to be safe and Teollisuuden Voima is able to operate it safely. As a condition for licence, STUK presents that Teollisuuden Voima performs a periodic safety assessment on the plant by the end of 2028 and delivers it to STUK for approval.

“In brief, safety means here that the use of nuclear energy does not cause injury to people, or damage to the environment or property”, Tuomainen quotes from the Nuclear Energy Act.

STUK’s safety assessment not only concerns the operation of the plant but also the nuclear fuel and nuclear waste management. Teollisuuden Voima’s plan is that the nuclear waste will be taken care of in Olkiluoto all the way to the final disposal. The final disposal plan on the spent nuclear fuel is based on Posiva Oy’s final disposal project.
Project Manager Minna Tuomainen notes that the supervision of the construction of OL3 has been laborious but at the same time also quite clear: “All supervision is based on legislation and more specific regulations and guidelines laid down in it. At this point, we can state that the plant and Teollisuuden Voima, the organization operating it, meet the Finnish safety requirements”.

STUK’s supervision continues

Minna Tuomainen reminds that the preparations for the commissioning of OL3 operation are still in progress, and STUK closely monitors the work preceding it even after the granting of the operating licence.  For example, the test run of the systems and the preparation of various guidelines are still partially unfinished. For loading nuclear fuel, Teollisuuden Voima also still requires a separate loading authorization from STUK. Before loading fuel into the reactor, STUK will inspect, among other things, that the instructions on the operation of the plant are sufficient and the organization operating the nuclear power plant is appropriate and sufficient, the initial inspections of the systems, structures and equipment of the plant have been made acceptably and the results of the system tests are acceptable.

One matter to be supervised and inspected before loading fuel is to suppress the pressurizer surge line vibration of the primary circuit detected in the test run of the plant. There exist alternative technical solutions for that. STUK will inspect the plans for the solution chosen by Teollisuuden Voima, supervise the work and verify before the loading of fuel that the alteration works have been performed and the operability of the solution has been tested.

When the operation of Olkiluoto 3 starts and the construction supervision project ends after the commercial use starts, STUK’s supervision will become the supervision of the operation. After that, STUK supervises five nuclear power plant units.

STUK has conducted three safety assessments on the OL3 project

Before Teollisuuden Voima can start the operation of the OL3 nuclear power plant, the project has required three decisions by the Finnish Government. The first was the decision-in-principle made in 2002 for which also approval by Parliament was required according to the Finnish authorization practice. Next was the construction licence granted in 2005 and now the latest one, the operating licence waiting for the decision by the Finnish Government. In each licence phase, STUK has made a safety assessment on the project and closely supervised the project between the licence phases.

Links:

Statement
Statement by the Advisory Committee on Nuclear Safety (in Finnish)
Safety Assessment

Infographic on the safety supervision, illustrations:

Infographic (.png)
Infographic (.pdf)

Further information:

Project Manager  Minna Tuomainen, tel. +358 9 759 88 329
Deputy Director  Tapani Virolainen, tel. +358 9 759 88 671
Media Services, tel. +358 10 850 4761

Stuk.fi: www.stuk.fi
Twitter: www.twitter.com/STUK_FI  
Facebook: www.facebook.com/sateilyturvakeskus

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About Säteilyturvakeskus (STUK)

Säteilyturvakeskus (STUK)
Säteilyturvakeskus (STUK)
Laippatie 4
00880 HELSINKI

Mediapalvelu: 010 850 4761http://www.stuk.fi

Säteilyturvakeskus (STUK) on sosiaali- ja terveysministeriön hallinnonalan viranomainen, joka valvoo säteily- ja ydinturvallisuutta Suomessa. Tehtävämme on ihmisten, yhteiskunnan, ympäristön ja tulevien sukupolvien suojelu säteilyn haitallisilta vaikutuksilta. 

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