July 16, 2012 / 1:03 PM / 5 years ago

UPDATE 2-Finland's Olkiluoto 3 reactor delayed again

* TVO blames delay in automation planning, installations

* Reactor originally scheduled to start in 2009

* Areva-Siemens, TVO disagree on responsibility (Adds Areva comment)

By Terhi Kinnunen

HELSINKI, July 16 (Reuters) - Finnish utility Teollisuuden Voima (TVO) announced a new delay to the start of its Olkiluoto 3 nuclear reactor, saying it will not begin electricity production in 2014.

Finland’s fifth nuclear reactor was originally scheduled to start operations in 2009, but has been hit by repeated delays and soaring costs.

TVO has disagreed with its plant supplier, a consortium of Areva and Siemens AG, over who is responsible for the delays. On Monday, it cited delays in automation system engineering and installation works.

“There has been slower-than-estimated progress in installing pipelines and electricity systems, they have taken more time than was previously estimated, but clearly the automation is the main issue,” TVO’s spokeswoman Anna Lehtiranta said.

She said TVO did not have a new start-date for the reactor, and had asked Areva and Siemens to clarify the timetable on automation as well as on the entire project.

French government-controlled Areva cast the blame on TVO in a statement, saying that the utility had failed to demonstrate “a clear operational organisation” to allow the project to be completed.

The Areva-Siemens consortium told TVO on July 6 that planning on the project “had to be reassessed” and that the Finnish utility “would be bearing responsibility for any slippage,” Areva said in a statement.

The International Chamber of Commerce’s arbitration court is processing the dispute on cost overruns between the consortium and TVO.

The water pressurised reactor will have a double containment building, a compartment isolating the molten core, six back-up diesel generators and four back-up cooling systems which Areva says would have withstood the earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan’s Fukushima plant in March 2011. (Additional reporting by Christian Plumb; Editing by Mark Potter and Jon Loades-Carter)

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