Teknos provided paints and coatings to the newly commissioned Olkiluoto 3 nuclear power plant in Finland

Nuclear power plants must be managed safely throughout their life cycle. This places special requirements also on the coatings of nuclear power plants. Global coatings company Teknos has a long track record in meeting the technical requirements set for coatings.

Teknos has been providing coatings for nuclear power plants since the 1970s and most recently provided coatings for almost all steel and concrete surfaces of Olkiluoto 3, a nuclear power plant unit located in the municipality of Eurajoki in Western Finland.

Olkiluoto 3 is the second EPR-type power plant to be completed in the world, with a capacity of 1,600 MW. Olkiluoto 3 is owned by Teollisuuden Voima (TVO) and was supplied by the Areva-Siemens consortium.

Heavy testing to ensure safety

The paints used in nuclear power plants are high-class special products and their quality is verified by extensive testing. At Olkiluoto 3, testing began at the early stages of the project.

“The testing of suitable coating systems started in 2004 with several potential paint suppliers. This made it possible for Olkiluoto 3 plant supplier to choose coatings for the plant already in the early stages of the project”, explains Jori Välilä, Manager of OL3 civil quality control at TVO. 

During the time of the testing, Teknos was one of the paint suppliers whose coatings systems met all the technical requirements, including the demanding Design Basis Accident (DBA) test. DBA test verifies that the coatings of the containment’s internal structures at the nuclear facility are designed and built to withstand accidents without unfavorable effects on accident management. Design against DBA events ensures that there is no loss of the systems, structures, and components necessary to ensure public health and safety.

“Teknos is well known as a high-quality paint manufacturer, furthermore, known as the experienced supplier of painting materials for OL 1 and OL 2 plants. Finally, Teknos is the single domestic supplier for all required painting systems,” says Kai Wienert, Bernhard Goldkuhle GmbH & Co. KG, painting company of Turbine Island at the plant site.

In addition to supplying the paint and coating products, Teknos provided technical support for the project.

“In addition to on-time deliveries and competent guidance, Teknos was also available to support and solve problems at the construction site,” Wienert says.


Strict requirements and high quality for long-term, safe use

Nuclear energy is a strictly regulated industry. In Finland, Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority STUK sets requirements for coatings used in nuclear power plants. The requirements are related to e.g., radiation and chemical resistance, decontamination, durability under operating conditions and postulated accident conditions as well as fire technical properties.

“Due to the intricate nature of the modern nuclear power plant, the requirements are very high. Safety comes always first at nuclear power plants and all the set requirements must be fulfilled”, Välilä emphasizes.

Nuclear power plants have an operating lifetime of several decades. During the lifetime, the condition of painting and coating is subject to regular in-service inspections and possible repairs are conducted based on the needs identified in these inspections.

“It is important that the paint on the surfaces of nuclear power plants does not need the be maintained continuously and that the surfaces are easy to clean. Coatings used in nuclear power plant units need to meet extremely high durability requirements, to minimize the need for maintenance. The less the coating requires repairs the better it is,” Välilä summarizes”.

Image source: TVO

For more information

Allan Bonde Jensen
Business Development Manager, Energy