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#688 - May 7, 2009

Nuclear Monitor Issue: 
Full issue

Latest: STUK threatens to stop Olkiluoto construction.

The Finnish Nuclear and Radiation Safety Authority STUK has demanded that the builder of the nuclear reactor, the French company Areva, corrects faults with the ‘automation’ that guides the plant. The ‘automation’ is most likely the control-command system, which includes everything linked to start-up, operation and shut-down of the plant.

STUK says that the construction of the EPR, has not proceeded according to official requirements: the design of the automation does not meet the basic principles required for nuclear safety, and on this basis STUK does not see any possibilities to approve the automation for installation at Olkiluoto.

In a letter to Areva, made public on May 5 by a current affair program on Finnish YLE tv, STUK warns Areva that the building site could be shut down if the automation is not fixed and approved; “the attitude or lack of professional knowledge of certain individuals who represented the organization in question at meetings of experts, prevent progress in solving the concerns”, states a letter addressed to the director-general of Areva.

The construction of Olkiluoto, the first EPR, started in February 2005. It is becoming a real burden for Areva: expected costs have been skyrocketed to 5.4 billion Euro, and start-up date has been delayed ‘until 2012’, more than 3 years after scheduled date.

YLE TV (news in English) website, 6 May 2009