Vattenfall shopping for land at Ringhals

04 June 2013

Swedish utility Vattenfall has started discussions with local landowners and tenants with a view to purchasing land neighbouring the Ringhals power plant that could be used for the construction of new nuclear capacity.

Ringhals (Annika Örnborg)_460
Ringhals is currently home to one boiling water reactor and three pressurized water reactors (Image: Annika Örnborg)

According to a statement by Vattenfall, the land in question could be earmarked for several possible uses: for use in relation to the future decommissioning of the four existing Ringhals reactors; as the location of a new replacement nuclear plant; or for other power generation options. Sweden's energy policy allows for the construction of new nuclear power plants at existing nuclear sites as replacements for the country's present reactors.

Vattenfall is the majority owner of two of Sweden's operating nuclear power plants, Ringhals and Forsmark, and the dialogue with landowners is part of an ongoing analysis of its options for the eventual replacement of its nuclear capacity. No decision on replacement power is expected to be made for at least 8 years - indeed, Vattenfall recently announced plans for operating lifetimes of up to 60 years for its existing plants - but the company says its current aim is to ensure that there is an opportunity to replace existing power generation at both sites.

Mats Ladeborn, head of nuclear development at Vattenfall, emphasised the company's intention to keep local residents at Ringhals fully informed of the progress of its study. He said that the dialogue would enable the company to offer to buy properties from local landowners "at a fair market price" and would give them the opportunity to stay as tenants.

In mid-2012 Vattenfall submitted an application to the Swedish Radiation Safety Authority concerning the replacement of up to two of its existing nuclear power reactors with new ones. A long-term development plan published in October 2012 by Swedish grid operator Svenska Kraftnät concluded that the Ringhals site, to the south of the city of Gothenburg on Sweden's western coast, would be the most convenient location for new nuclear power in Sweden.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News