- Europe's largest reactor kicks into gear
- OL3 set to power 14% of Finland's electricity needs
- Finnish green transition boosted by nuclear energy
Just as Europe's energy situation gets a bit dicey, Finland's got a trick up its sleeve – the Olkiluoto 3 (OL3) nuclear reactor, the continent's largest. Despite a slew of setbacks, the reactor finally started churning out energy on Sunday. As Russia's been playing hardball with power and gas supplies, this bad boy couldn't have come at a better time.
While nuclear power sparks some debate in Europe, primarily due to safety concerns, countries like Germany are shutting down their last few reactors. Meanwhile, Sweden, France, and Britain are looking to invest in new ones. Finland's leaning into nuclear energy, too, with its fresh OL3 reactor.
The OL3 reactor, operated by Teollisuuden Voima (TVO) and owned by Finnish utility Fortum and an alliance of energy and industrial companies, is set to quench about 14% of Finland's electricity thirst. With this new addition, Finland can ease up on imports from Sweden and Norway.
Built to last, the reactor's got a solid 60-year life expectancy. As it smoothly transitions from testing to regular output, TVO's CEO Jarmo Tanhua is pretty stoked about it. He believes the OL3 reactor will stabilize electricity prices and give Finland's green transition a much-needed boost.
Though construction of the 1.6 GW reactor began in 2005, technical hiccups and delays kept it from being operational for a hot minute. Now that it's up and running, Finland can breathe a little easier – especially since Russia decided to cut off power exports and natural gas shipments to the Nordic nation.
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