Swedish plants look to 60 years

23 May 2013

Vattenfall has announced it is planning to operate its newest nuclear units at Forsmark and Ringhals for up to 60 years thanks to an extensive upgrade program.

Ringhals (Annika Örnborg)_460
Ringhals (Image: Annika Örnborg/Vattenfall)

In a new assessment of the preconditions for long-term operation of its nuclear reactors, Vattenfall says it has found that the technical and economic preconditions exist for it to operate its two oldest units, Ringhals 1 and 2, for 50 years and its five other units, Ringhals 3 and 4 and Forsmark 1-3, for up to 60 years.

Vattenfall and the operating companies for the two plants will now look into the investments needed to keep the plants operating safely and profitably for up to 60 years. Vattenfall's head of business division for nuclear power, Torbjörn Wahlborg, explained that this did not equate to a decision on a specific decommissioning date, but more to looking at the investments needed for a specific total operating time.

Vattenfall is currently planning to invest SEK16 billion ($2.4 billion) between 2013 and 2017 in modernizing and upgrading the two plants, described by Wahlborg as "the most extensive modernization program in the history of Swedish power." The project will lay the technical foundations for the plants' continued long-term operation.

Ringhals 1 and 2 started up in the mid-1970s, while the other units all started up in the first half of the 1980s. Ringhals 1 and the three Forsmark units are boiling water reactors, while Ringhals 2-4 are pressurised water reactors. Both plants are majority owned and operated by Vattenfall.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News