Finland's symbol of resurrection becomes showcase for hassles, delays and cost-overruns

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Finland's Olkiluoto power station was meant to symbolise the resurrection of nuclear power after the 1986 Chernobyl disaster and to act as a showcase for Areva of France's new EPR reactor technology.

The first nuclear power station to be built in western Europe since Chernobyl, Olkiluoto 3 would demonstrate that nuclear energy was the obvious solution to growing concerns about CO2 emissions, high fossil fuel prices and dependence on imported energy sources.

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Olkiluoto nuclear site strike averted

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The Finnish Construction Union said Tuesday it had withdrawn a strike notice affecting the entire Olkiluoto nuclear power station site after a day of talks with Rimec, one of the subcontractors at the site.

Kyösti Suokas, a chair of the union, said late on Tuesday that Rimec had convinced the union that the company had forwarded withheld wages to the state as tax and social security contributions.

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Splitting the atom costs double in Finland

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Finland’s plans to build the world’s first next-generation pressurised water reactor has hit a rough patch as the initial estimated price tag has now doubled to nearly 4.5 billion euro. Areva, the French nuclear construction company building the power plant, announced that the final costs for the reactor will be 50 percent higher than originally estimated, according to Les Echos, a business newspaper.

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Finnish builders' union postpones nuclear site strike

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

The Finnish Construction Trade Union on Monday postponed the start of a strike affecting Teollisuuden Voima's Olkiluoto nuclear power station site by a week to 17 September.

The union added that Rimec, a Cyprus-registered subcontractor at the site, had until 16 September to come up with an explanation of suspected wage and occupational healthcare irregularities.

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Finnish Nuclear Agency Finds Some Flaws in Olkiluoto Safety

Friday, August 29, 2008

Aug. 29 (Bloomberg) -- Finland's Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority said today the supervision and ''safety culture'' of welding at the Olkiluoto-3 nuclear plant did not meet all of its standards and must be improved.

The agency, known as STUK, demanded changes after inspecting the site and interviewing workers this week, according to a statement posted on its Web site. The regulator said it found no quality problems that threaten the durability of the welds.

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Areva faces 50 pct cost rise for Finnish nuclear reactor: report

Thursday, August 28, 2008

PARIS (AFP) — French nuclear group Areva is facing a 50 percent rise to the cost of building the world's first next-generation pressurised water reactor in Finland, the business daily Les Echos reported Thursday.

The cost of constructing the plant at Olkiluoto has risen from three billion to 4.5 billion euros (6.7 billion dollars), the paper reported citing an unidentified source.

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Finnish union issues strike notice on nuclear site

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The Finnish Construction Trade Union on Tuesday issued a strike notice covering the nuclear power station construction site in Olkiluoto.

The union said in a statement that temporary employment agency Rimec, thought to be registered in Cyprus, had withheld more than third of the pay of its Polish builders for tax and social security contributions but failed to explain where the money had been rendered.

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Finland halts work on nuclear reactor over safety concerns

Friday, August 22, 2008

Finland’s fifth nuclear power plant, which is currently under construction, has been put on ice pending new studies on the safety of its building methods. The suspension resulted from a report recently issued by Greenpeace that found irregularities in the welding.

Although Finland’s nuclear safety authority (STUK) rejected many of the claims made by Greenpeace, it will conduct intensive studies on the safety and quality of the welds, which are critical parts of the reactors’ structure. STUK’s Assistant Director Petteri Tiippana said, “The ministry will ask for a report from us on this issue very soon and we are planning to respond to that within the next week”.

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Finland seeks details on nuclear safety checks

Thursday, August 21, 2008

HELSINKI (Thomson Financial) - The Finnish government said Thursday it wanted the country's Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority (STUK) to clarify its inspection principles, following criticism of its work at a nuclear reactor building site.

'The (economy) ministry wants further reports from STUK on its inspection principles and precision, and how these compare to practices in other countries,' the Finnish employment and economy ministry, in charge of energy industry issues, said in a statement.

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YLE: Serious Shortcomings at Olkiluoto Nuclear Site

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Serious shortcomings exist on the construction site of the new Olkiluoto nuclear reactor.

According to YLE current affairs programme, welding work has been carried out on the site without proper supervision. Neither has there been a qualified manager on site to direct the welding work for several months.

A qualified manager with responsibility for welding work must be on site at nuclear reactor construction site in order to meet with international standards.

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