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New Energy World
New Energy World embraces the whole energy industry as it connects and converges to address the decarbonisation challenge. It covers progress being made across the industry, from the dynamics under way to reduce emissions in oil and gas, through improvements to the efficiency of energy conversion and use, to cutting-edge initiatives in renewable and low carbon technologies.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine highlights the extra strategic value of Olkiluoto 3, Finland’s newest nuclear power plant, report John Pagni, in Helsinki, and Keith Nuthall.
Its launch may be more than a decade late, but the European Union’s (EU) first European Pressurised water Reactor (EPR) has finally started producing electricity for the Finnish national grid. Its strategic importance to Finland, as the country is preparing for NATO membership following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, is hard to overstate. It will help Finland to wean itself off Russian energy imports, giving its government more latitude as it plots a future that views its giant neighbour as unreliable at best, and dangerous at worst.
The nuclear power plant is located on Finland’s Gulf of Bothnia west coast, far from the Russian border. Start-up of the Olkiluoto 3’s (OL3) reactor took place on 21 December 2021, after which the power output was gradually increased to 27% capacity, with the plant connected to the grid on 12 March with a power output of 103 MW.
A note from private operator Teollisuuden Voima Oyj (TVO) says the OL3 plant unit’s power output will now be gradually increased to 1,600 MW, delivering approximately 3–4 TWh of power during the test production phase, which will last until July. The switch to full electricity production was subsequently extended to September this year. With this output delivering approximately 10% of Finland’s electricity demand, ‘OL3 significantly improves Finland’s electricity self-sufficiency and helps in achieving carbon neutrality goals,’ reports TVO.