Uprate approved for Ringhals 4

02 February 2015

A power uprate of unit 4 of the Ringhals nuclear power plant has been approved by the Swedish nuclear regulator. The uprate will increase the unit's generating capacity by some 175 MWe.

Ringhals (Annika Örnborg)_460
The Ringhals plant (Image: Annika Örnborg)

Ringhals AB applied to the regulator in 2007 for permission to increase the pressurized water reactor's (PWR's) thermal output by 18% from 2783 MWt to 3300 MWt. A prerequisite for the uprate was the replacement of the unit's three steam generators. These were replaced during the summer of 2011 as part of an uprating and life extension project.

Sweden's Radiation Safety Authority (Strålsäkerhetsmyndigheten, SSM) has now examined Ringhals' work and its safety analysis for the uprate and granted the plant permission to begin trial operation of the unit at the higher output.

The unit was taken out of operation on 1 February for refuelling due to a fuel leakage. It is planned to be returned to service on 19 February. It will then be operated at the higher power level on a trial basis.

Before Ringhals 4 can be routinely operated at the higher power level, Ringhals AB is required to make a further application to SSM, which will conduct an audit.

The Ringhals site, 60km south of Göteborg on the Värö Peninsula, is host to three PWRs (units 2, 3 and 4) and one boiling water reactor (BWR). All were constructed between 1969 and 1985. Ringhals is owned by Ringhals AB, which in turn is owned by Vattenfall (70.4%) and Eon (29.6%).

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News