Fortum contracted for Swedish plant dismantling work

09 June 2020

Finnish utility Fortum and Uniper Sweden have agreed to collaborate on the dismantling of major systems and components at the Oskarshamn and Barsebäck nuclear power plants in Sweden. Fortum was awarded the contract by Uniper Sweden - a Fortum subsidiary - in a competitive bidding process.

Units 1 and 2 of the Oskarshamn plant (Image: OKG)

Uniper announced in December 2018 a "long-term and common strategy" for the demolition of the two-unit Barsebäck plant together with units 1 and 2 of the Oskarshamn plant. Decommissioning work, including dismantling of the reactor pressure vessels and their internals, is already under way at all four reactors. Then follows a systematic review of the entire plant, where different parts are dismantled according to a synchronised and shared schedule for both plants.

The utility said the strategy was intended to create "logistical and economic coordination benefits" between the two ongoing projects that will be implemented primarily in the 2020s. Under Uniper's strategy, the radiological demolition of the four reactors - during which all radioactive waste will be removed from each unit - will be carried out between 2020 and 2028. The total cost of decommissioning the Barsebäck and Oskarshamn units is estimated at SEK10.0 billion (USD1.1 billion).

Uniper Sweden has now signed an agreement with Fortum for the dismantling of the turbine auxiliary systems, feed water systems and moisture separator reheaters at each of the reactors. The work will start at Oskarshamn units 1 and 2 in August and finish at Barsebäck units 1 and 2 in the summer of 2021.

"This is the first nuclear dismantling project for us in Sweden and we are excited to contribute to the decommissioning of Oskarshamn and Barsebäck nuclear power plants and look forward to the cooperation with Uniper Sweden," added Fortum's Project Manager, Sergey Ilyukhin. The company has already been awarded decommissioning contracts both in Finland.

The two ABB-designed boiling water reactors (BWRs) at Barsebäck, about 30 kilometres from Malmö in southern Sweden, shut down in November 1999 and May 2005, respectively. The two 600 MWe reactors - which began operating in 1975 and 1977 - were shut down early because of political pressure from neighbouring Denmark. All the nuclear fuel, which contained most of the radioactive substances, has already been removed from the Barsebäck plant. Reactor vessels and other major parts must be disassembled and transported away before the buildings themselves are dismantled. Work to dismantle, segment and package the reactor pressure vessel internals for final disposal is currently being undertaken by Westinghouse.

German utility EOn spun off of its non-renewable assets into Uniper in January 2016. Last October, Fortum agreed to increase its shareholding in Uniper from 50% to over 70%. EOn - which owns a 54.5% stake in OKG, operator of the Oskarshamn plant - decided in October 2015 that unit 1 and 2 would be shut down permanently. Unit 3 was unaffected by the decision. Fortum owns the remaining 45.5% of OKG. At that time, EOn said unit 1 would close between 2017 and 2019, there would be no future investments at unit 2 and the reactor will not be restarted. In February 2017, OKG announced the decision to shut down Oskarshamn 1 in conjunction with a planned outage at the end of June last year. Oskarshamn 1, a 473 MWe BWR, started up in 1972, while Oskarshamn 2 is a 638 MWe BWR which began operating in 1974. Oskarshamn 3 is a 1400 MWe BWR which began operating in 1985.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News