Things are going from bad to worse with the disastrous construction of Finland’s Olkiluoto reactor. Despite the builders ‘working six days a week and 24 hours a day’, it has been announced that the reactor is now three years behind schedule. Instead of it going online in 2009, Olkiluoto-3 will not now produce any electricity until 2012 at the earliest (if, it has to be said, at all). The more work they do, the further behind schedule it gets which is quite an amazing trick when you think about it.
In a masterpiece of understatement, Philippe Knoche, project manager of the OL3 construction said, ‘OL3 is and will remain a very challenging project’. Yes, and the Titanic was a dinghy.
With the reactor also now somewhere in the region of 25 per cent over its original budget of three billion euros the builders, France’s nuclear clowns Areva, are now negotiating with Finnish utility TVO to share the losses it is making. How’s that for confidence?
Of course, none of this is Areva’s fault. The blame lies squarely with the Finnish authorities who want the reactor built as safely as possible, the fools. How dare they want confidence and reassurance? Of the 100,000 engineering documents, only 30 per cent have been approved by the Finnish Safety Authority. ‘It's heavy work, which none of the parties had anticipated,’ said Knoche who seems to need reminding that it’s nuclear reactor he’s building and not, say, a LEGO house.
Amazingly, Areva are looking to build Finland’s next nuclear reactor. This is a crazy idea but wouldn’t it be sensible to see if they can get Olkiluoto-3 anywhere near finished before letting them start another disaster?