HELSINKI The start-up of Finland's fifth
nuclear power reactor, seen as a test case for Europe's nuclear
future, has been pushed back and its operator said on Friday it
now sees a commercial start in mid-2011.
Start-up had originally been scheduled for 2009.
French nuclear group Areva and Germany's Siemens are
building the 1,600 megawatt Olkiluoto 3 reactor on Finland's
west coast, the first new nuclear reactor to be constructed in
Western Europe for more than a decade.
"Areva-Siemens consortium has announced to TVO that the
unit would be ready in summer 2011," plant owner Teollisuuden
Voima (TVO) said in a statement. "The delay in the project
causes extra work and costs."
The 3 billion euro ($4.4 billion) project's start has been
postponed before. TVO said in August that delays in
construction had likely pushed the date into 2011 from 2009.
The progress of the plant is being closely watched by older
EU member states wary of piling back into nuclear projects.
Finland, which is already importing power from neighbors
such as Russia, is facing power shortages in coming years with
electricity consumption forecast to grow a few percent each
Teollisuuden Voima is owned by Finnish utility Fortum and
Pohjolan Voima, a consortium of Finnish forestry and energy
(Reporting by Tarmo Virki; editing by James Jukwey)