Finland’s long-awaited and expensive new nuclear reactor, the largest in Europe in terms of production capacity, has completed a testing phase of more than a year and began regular operation, significantly boosting the country’s self-sufficiency in electricity, The Associated Press reports.
The 1,600-megawatt Olkiluoto 3 reactor was connected to Finland’s national power grid in March 2022 and began its regular operation on Sunday. The operator Teollisuuden Voima Oyj (TVO) issued a statement on Twitter noting that “Olkiluoto 3 is now ready” after a 14-year delay from the original plan.
The construction of Olkiluoto 3 kicked off in 2005 and was supposed to be completed in four years. However, the project ran into a number of technological issues that led to a series of lawsuits. The last time a new nuclear reactor was put into operation in Finland was over 40 years ago.
The leader of the National Coalition Party Petteri Orpo, possibly the new prime minister of Finland, said during the election campaign that the nuclear power should be made into “the cornerstone of the government’s energy policy” by the new cabinet.