Areva and TVO Downplay Renewed Reactor Concerns

Friday, May 8, 2009

Power company TVO denies that Finland's Nuclear and Radiation Safety Authority (STUK) has threatened to stop construction of a nuclear reactor at its plant in Olkiluoto. Nonetheless both TVO and French contractor Areva say they take the criticism seriously.

TVO and Areva admit that plans for an automation safety system have been delayed, but say that STUK has not suggested it would order a stop to construction for this or any other reason.

YLE current affairs programme Ajankohtainen Kakkonen acquired a letter from STUK to Areva warning that the building site could be shut down if the automation is not fixed and approved.

The director of Areva Resources Finland, Osmo Kaipainen, notes that the letter is an unofficial memo, and not a threat. He says he does not believe that construction will cease. Kaipainen adds that criticism levied at Areva by STUK's director general Jukka Laaksonen will be discussed with TVO.

TVO, for its part, says that it has already delivered plans for the automation system to STUK for approval, and that they will be handled in due course.

The new commercial reactor on Finland's west coast, the nation's fifth, is already some three years behind schedule and far over budget.

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