Areva (Euronext: CEI) and Siemens (NYSE: SI) have completed the installation of the reactor vessel head of the first European pressurized water reactor (EPR) at Olkiluoto nuclear power plant’s (NPP) Unit 3 in Helsinki, Finland.

Representing the completion of the installation of heavy equipment for the Finnish EPR, the move also makes the generation III+ Olkiluoto 3 the first EPR with a fully equipped reactor vessel that is ready to accommodate a ‘core’ of fuel assemblies.
Olkiluoto nuclear power plant
Speaking during a press conference, Arvea Olkiluoto 3 project director Jean-Pierre Mouroux said, ”This delicate manoeuvre is a symbolic step in the history of the EPR reactor, and I would like to congratulate the teams who succeeded in carrying it out with perfection.’

The reactor vessel head installation was carried out using the EPR’s polar crane, which facilitates movement of heavy components within the reactor building, according to the company.

The Areva-Siemens consortium employs around 3,400 individuals of 55 different nationalities on the OL3 site.

The Olkiluoto 3 EPR is one of four such reactors under construction in the world, and was originally scheduled to start up in 2009, but is being hit by repeated delays due to workmanship and supervision issues.

Operated by Teollisuuden Voima (TVO), the Olkiluoto NPP currently features two boiling water reactors (BWRs) with 860 MW each.

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