Forsmark 3 power uprate cancelled

24 November 2014

Plans for a power uprate of over 14% at unit 3 of the Forsmark nuclear power plant in Sweden have been dropped as it is no longer economically feasible, Vattenfall has announced. An uprate at unit 1 will go ahead as planned.

Forsmark unit 3 (Image: Vattenfall)

The board of Forsmark Kraftgrupp AB decided on 21 November to remove the planned 170 MWe power uprate for Forsmark 3 from current planning, majority owner Vattenfall said. The unit will remain at its current capacity of 1187 MWe (net).

Vattenfall Nordic head and Forsmark chairman Torbjorn Wahlborg said, "The reason for the decision is that profitability calculation for the power increase at Forsmark 3 has deteriorated since the issue was last discussed by the board about a year ago." He noted that it is primarily the cost of upgrading the grid that has made the uprate more expensive than previously estimated.

In September, Forsmark 3 has returned to service with 17 MWe more power after work to replace the unit's high-pressure turbine. The uprate work took place during the unit's scheduled annual outage which began on 27 July.

Unit 1 uprate still planned

Forsmark's board decided to proceed with power uprate work at unit 1. The uprate will add some 114 MWe of power output to the unit's current capacity of 984 MWe (net).

Vattenfall noted that "virtually all technical measures" have been implemented at Forsmark 1 in order to carry out the uprate. However, it said that an agreement will need to be reached with Svenska Kraftnät, the state-owned operator of the national electricity grid, on the necessary grid upgrades. Negotiations on this will now begin, the company said.

Depending on the result of those negotiations, Vattenfall said, the Forsmark unit could begin supplying more power to the grid sometime between 2017 and 2020.

Meanwhile, Forsmark unit 2 has been in trial operation since March 2013 following an increase in capacity from 1000 MWe to 1120 MWe. Vattenfall said that an application should be submitted to the Swedish Radiation Safety Authority by the end of 2014 for permission to permanently operate at this higher output.

The Forsmark plant comprises three boiling water reactors. Unit 1 began commercial operation in 1980, while unit 2 started up the following year. Unit 3 began in 1985.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News