Sweden confirms major reactor uprate

02 October 2009

The Swedish Radiation Safety Authority (SSM) has given its approval for test operation of OKG's Oskarshamn 3 nuclear power reactor following a power uprate of some 20% from 1200 MWe to 1450 MWe net. The SSM has said that trial operation of the reactor at the higher power output can continue for one year, until the unit is due to be stopped for refuelling. OKG must then submit another application for routine operation at the higher level. Initial approval for the uprate was given in 2005 and OKG has since spent 313 million ($455 million) on improvements to the reactor and turbines, a project expected to extend the reactor's operating life to 60 years and improve reactor safety according to new regulations. Westinghouse was contracted to renew some of the internal parts in the reactor and to upgrade all safety functions. A corresponding agreement was signed with Alstom in order to adapt the turbine equipment and the electric power system to a higher power output. Oskarshamn 3 is one of three BWRs at the site, operated by OKG, itself a Swedish subsidiary of Germany's EOn. Oskarshamn 2 is also to undergo upgrading that will increase the 610 MWe unit's installed capacity by more than 30 MWe. A modernization program completed in 2002 at Oskarshamn 1, which included the replacement of the turbines, raised that unit's capacity by 22 MWe.

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