Jarmo Tanhua: We did it


Editorial in ATS Ydintekniikka 4/2023. Print layout version available here.

There are great days and there are magnificent days. For me, 28th of September falls into the latter category. It was the day when the Olkiluoto 3 unit was officially inaugurated at Olkiluoto.

I QUOTE FROM MY SPEECH at that Pure Energy ceremony to share the sentiments and thanks to all those involved in the field. I do not think I am alone in saying that it was certainly a memorable evening. A long and important project was given the culmination it deserves.

But then, my speech went something like this:

We have been tested, but personally I have never had any doubts.

Together we have built one of the largest power plants in the world, and in the process, we have achieved the greatest climate action in Finland and perhaps even in Europe. At the same time, we have also made Finland almost self-sufficient in electricity production.

Together with renewable energy, Finland has become a more attractive target for investments that need reliable and clean energy. Olkiluoto is now the largest electricity supplier in Finland, producing about 30% of electricity in Finland.

Olkiluoto 3 is such a colossal endeavour that the word WE can and must be emphasized. WE have managed to finalize the OL3 project together and each of us has certainly given their effort. The list of people to thank for this achievement is very long even if I open it only on the heading level:

Employees of TVO, AREVA, Siemens, all subcontractors, TVO shareholders, political decision makers, public officials, and so forth etc.

The complete list would be very long. Altogether, literally tens of thousands of people have participated in the Olkiluoto 3 project over the years. Each and everyone deserve a big thank you. Moreover, if we summed up all persons who have supported the OL3 project and thus, enabled starting its electricity production, the figure would be even larger.

I wish to say once more, collectively and separately, to all of you: Thank you!

If it was not clear before, the OL3 Pure Energy ceremony proves that the job is now finished. And we all can be very proud.

It should also be clear that there are not many power plants in the world that have raised so many emotions as OL3. In this story, the arc of drama has definitely been present.

The past years have included many uncertain, hazy moments, disappointments, tops and bottoms, but on the other hand, also pure joy when progress has been achieved.

This project has also been followed in the public. And not just with a magnifying glass, but rather with a microscope. In the last year of commissioning alone, we have alternatively been either the hero who saved the whole country from the energy crisis, or the bad guy who turned off the energy taps just when electricity was most needed.

We heard everything, but we did not listen to everything. Our mission was crystal clear from the start. We had to make sure that the newly completed power plant works as planned. This we did, systematically and professionally, piece by piece, valve by valve, inspection by inspection, test by test, and megawatt by megawatt.

Now OL3 produces clean energy safely and economically. Over the next 60 years, we will produce a lot of climate-friendly, stable electricity and thus create prosperity for Finland. That is, until the 2080s.

We have indeed been tested, but at no point did I doubt that we would reach the finish line. The main reason for this was that WE were WE from the start.

Olkiluoto 3 is ready.

Jarmo Tanhua
Teollisuuden Voima Oyj