Teollisuuden Voima Oyj, Finland’s biggest nuclear operator, is planning to increase output from its 1,760-megawatt Olkiluoto reactors in 2017, bolstering Finland’s energy independence.
“We may decide to boost capacity from the two 880-megawatt units in 2017, adding significantly to net electricity output,” spokesman Lauri Inna said today by phone from the reactor site, without elaborating how much capacity will rise.
The increase may provide support to the nation’s energy- intensive pulp, chemicals and basic metals industries, which contribute twice the European average to the economy, according to the International Energy Agency. Finland embraced nuclear power in the 1970s to cut its dependence on imports from the Soviet Union, because it lacks the oil and hydropower supplies of neighbors such as Russia and Norway.
“It will be a natural step to assess whether a further, much bigger boost will be possible to implement in five years by modifying the reactor generators, something we’ve done twice in the past, on the condition however that we can maintain safety and high utilization rates,” Inna said.
The company, co-owned by Finland’s biggest utility Fortum Oyj (FUM1V), operates two nuclear stations that supply 17 percent of Finland’s power use, and raised installed capacity at the units by 20 megawatts each in 2010 and 2011 by investing 160 million euros ($206 million) into improving power turbines. It has a third atomic unit under construction, set to be the world’s biggest at 1,400 megawatts, and a fourth one planned.
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