March 26, 2021

Olkiluoto 3: Framatome teams all set for fuel loading

March 26, 2021 – The Olkiluoto 3 EPR reactor completes a decisive stage of its commissioning. The Finnish safety authority (STUK) has authorized the fuel load for the Olkiluoto 3 EPR reactor. Loading operations led by plant operator TVO, with the support from AREVA and Framatome, can begin.

"Fuel loading is a major milestone for the project. Reaching this milestone illustrates the expertise and know-how of our teams," said Bernard Fontana, CEO of Framatome. "Framatome's teams are fully mobilized alongside AREVA and TVO to finalize and deliver the nuclear power plant while meeting the highest safety and security standards. I thank them for their engagement.”

To carry out the loading operations, an integrated team made up of approximately 40 employees from TVO, AREVA and Framatome has been formed. It includes around 15 fuel handlers, employees specializing in the fuel handling operations, and four neutronics engineers in charge of monitoring the core during loading.

A total of 241 fuel assemblies manufactured in Framatome's plants in Germany and in France will be loaded in the reactor vessel to constitute the first core.

The Areva NP and Areva NP GmbH Olkiluoto 3 project teams, who will later join Framatome, are supported by over 110 Framatome employees permanently based on the site, and by Framatome engineering teams located in France and in Germany.

Completion of the fuel loading will be followed by a new series of hot functional tests before the first criticality and commissioning for commercial operation. Framatome teams will be involved during the ramping up phase of the reactor.

Once the reactor is in service, Framatome teams will contribute to the maintenance of the Olkiluoto 3 reactor under a long-term service contract signed between Framatome and TVO in late 2019. They will be supported by the new subsidiary, Framatome Finland, created in 2019.