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10 Dec, 2020 16:00

‘Significant & exceptional incident’ reported at Finnish nuclear plant, watchdog says no material leaked

‘Significant & exceptional incident’ reported at Finnish nuclear plant, watchdog says no material leaked

A reactor at a nuclear power plant in Finland has been shut down after the operator measured elevated levels of radiation inside the plant. Finland’s nuclear regulator says no radiation has escaped into the environment.

A statement released by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on Thursday said it was informed at 11:56 UTC by the Finnish Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority about an event at the Olkiluoto Nuclear Power Plant, which is located on Olkiluoto Island, about 220 km northwest of Helsinki.

The IAEA statement noted that Unit 2 of the plant was shut down after elevated radiation levels were measured. 

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The plant’s operator, Teollisuuden Voima (TVO), added that the automatic reactor ‘scram’ – the sudden shutting down of a reactor – had operated as it should in such circumstances. 

“During the reactor scram, the plant has operated as planned. Differing to what was previously reported, the plant is not being prepared for a cold shutdown state. The situation is currently being investigated,” the TVO statement read. 

“There is no release from the plant. No harm has been caused [to] people or the environment. We will give more information as the situation becomes clear.” 

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In a subsequent press conference, the Finnish government sought to put the public’s minds at rest. 

“This is a significant and an exceptional incident, and we consider it important to spread correct information about it,” Finland’s minister of social affairs and health, Aino-Kaisa Pekonen, told reporters.

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