Swedish dismantling work for Westinghouse

02 November 2015

Westinghouse has been awarded a contract to dismantle the reactor pressure vessel internals of the two-unit Barsebäck nuclear power plant in Sweden.

Barseback NPP - 460 (Barseback Kraft)
The shut down Barsebäck plant (Image: Barsebäck Kraft)

Under the contract signed with plant operator Barsebäck Kraft AB, Westinghouse is to dismantle, segment and package the reactor pressure vessel internals for final disposal. This, Westinghouse said, will significantly reduce the amount of radioactivity remaining in the plant and facilitate safe dismantling of the remainder of its components.

In order the carry out this work, Westinghouse said its will implement "its proven, remotely controlled underwater mechanical cutting techniques, and employ specifically designed equipment" it will fabricate and test at its facilities in Västerås, Sweden.

The project will begin immediately and is expected to take about four years to complete. Mechanical segmentation of the reactor pressure vessel internals will begin in 2016.

The two ABB-designed boiling water reactors at Barsebäck, about 30 kilometers 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 now been removed from the Barsebäck plant. Reactor vessels and other major parts must be disassembled and transported away before the buildings themselves are dismantled.

Westinghouse vice president and managing director for Northern Europe Aziz Dag said, "This is a strategically important contract for Westinghouse. We are pleased to have this opportunity to serve our customers in the last phase of the nuclear power plant life cycle."

Westinghouse has previously been contracted to perform dismantling work at the Philippsburg 1 and Neckarwestheim 1 reactors in Germany, as well as Chooz plant in France and Spain's Jose Cabrera (Zorita) plant.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News