The surprise shutdown of Olkiluoto 3 drove up the price of electricity – which is why nuclear plants are now being serviced one on top of the other | news

Electricity prices on the exchange are more than 37 cents per kilowatt-hour in the morning and rise to about 30 cents in the evening.

The photo shows Teollisuuden voima’s third and new nuclear power unit in Olkiluoto, located in Eurajoki. Photo: Samuli Holopainen / Yle

In the morning, there was a surprise price hike in electricity prices.

Considering the time, it was expensive anyway. A year ago in May the average price was 3.31 c/kWh. Now it’s 8 cents more per kilowatt hour.

The hot season is already over. Why is electricity so expensive again?

– The third and second annual maintenance of Olkiluoto is still ongoing. Additionally, there is little wind power generation. Today is a cold spring day, which increases electricity use, says the director of grid company Fingrid. Tuomas Rauhala.

In addition, less hydropower is being used than usual at this time of year when the flood season approaches in northern rivers.

Tuomas Rauhala is standing in the office.  Power line poster in the background.

According to Fingrid’s director Tuomas Rauhala, it will be difficult to avoid electricity price increases in the future as well. Photo: Mikko Koski / Yle

In the past, annual maintenance of nuclear power plants was carried out one after the other, why now they are carried out one on top of the other?

– The most optimal thing is that maintenance is not carried out more than once as originally planned. However, now the annual maintenance of Olkiluoto komlosone is delayed. The plant is huge and we do maintenance for the first year. We cannot predict how long it will take for the unit to cool down, says Theolisuten Voima’s Communications Manager. I am Johanna.

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Two nuclear power plants remain out of service next week

Olkiluto’s second unit has already been brought back up and should start generating power tomorrow.

On the other hand, the maintenance of Olkiluoto Unit 1 starts on Sunday, and the new completion estimate for the annual maintenance of the new, three units is next Tuesday.

So part of the nuclear power generation will still be unused next week.

The situation is exceptional.

– Number one and number two are always served from spring. At least, from my own work history, I don’t remember maintenance overlapping, Aho thinks.

What can be done to prevent electricity price hike?

– Careful advance planning aims to avoid any significant gaps in supply, says Rauhala.

– On the other hand, the Nordic countries have several large power station units and transmission links that inevitably overlap. When schedules are tight, delays can easily lead to this situation.

Aho told Yle that the maintenance of nuclear power plants is scheduled years in advance and it is very difficult to postpone them.

About 1,500 external experts participate in maintenance procedures.

Almost a third of Finland’s electricity comes from the three units of the Olkiluoto nuclear power plant from Eurojo.

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