The Finnish Nuclear and Radiation Safety Authority (STUK) has sent a letter to Areva, the French company building the Olkiluoto nuclear power plant, stating that they will shut down the power station site if Areva doesn’t fix problems in the plant’s automation systems.
YLE, the Finnish Broadcasting Company, reports that STUK believes the design of the nuclear plant’s automation system is faulty and does not meet basic nuclear safety requirements to operate. STUK therefore says they cannot give the green light for Areva to install the automation systems at Olkiluoto until the company addresses the problem.
“Areva NP SAS was to have designed very important systems for safety, but unfortunately, the attitude or lack of professional knowledge of certain individuals who represented the organisation in question at meetings of experts prevent progress in solving the concerns,” STUK bluntly wrote to Areva, according to YLE.
Although Areva had no immediate response to the letter, the Olkiluoto site has been plagued by delays since it began construction. Many of those delays were about the plant’s safety measures, which has prompted several Finnish environmental groups to issue a joint statement demanding the work be stopped “at once and once and for all”.
Friends of the Earth, the Association for Nature Conservation and six other activist groups released the statement noting the recurring reports of substandard quality, and repeated safety and control lapses are strong indicators that the nuclear plant cannot be operated safely.