What to Expect
The Olkiluoto island nuclear power plant with two Boiling Water Reactors, buiid by Asea-Atom (now Westinghouse/Toshiba) currently producing 1,720 MWe. The third reactor (can be seen under construction) is a EPR (Evolutionary Power Reactor) a European Pressurised Reactor being built by Areva and Siemens. It will produce 1,600 MWe when complete.
The EPR (Evolutionary Power Reactor) is the only third-generation reactor currently under construction in the world. Work began on the 1600 MWe EPR in 2005, but various delays have seen the start-up date pushed back from the original schedule to beyond mid-2013. The reactor’s 3 billion euro price tag, REACHED about $4.2 billion end 2009, climbing at least 50 percent and still going up!
The reactor building dome of Olkiluoto 3. After five years of construction and thousands of defects and deficiencies. First to come to light were irregularities in foundation concrete, which caused work to slow on site for months. Later it was found that subcontractors had provided heavy forgings that were not up to project standards and which had to be re-cast. An apparent problem constructing the reactor's unique double-containment structure has also caused delays, while meeting regulators requirements for the instrumentation and control system has become critical for the plant time schedule.
The turbine building houses the equipment that transforms the steam produced into electricity: the turbine, the alternator and the transformer, which is connected to the grid. During a power blackout, diesel generators housed in two separate buildings supply electricity to the safety functions. The EPR is the direct descendant of Areva’s N4 and KONVOI reactors. The pressurised water in the primary system is used as a moderator to slow down the neutrons, allowing a nuclear reaction to occur in the core, and transfer the heat generated during the reaction to the steam generators.
The EPR has four steam generators – one for each of the four heat removal loops making up the primary system. Steam generators are heat exchangers. They receive heat from the nuclear reactor on their primary side, and deliver heat to the non-nuclear part of the facility on their secondary side. There is a leak-tight separation between primary and secondary sides. The secondary heat produces steam to power the turbine which generates electricity.