Development of nuclear power in Sweden
In Sweden, nuclear engineering was launched in 1947, when AB Atomenergi was established to realise a development programme resolved by Parliament. As a result, the first research reactor located at the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) in Stockholm, went critical in 1954. This was followed by the first prototype nuclear power plant (PHWR), Ågesta, located in a rock cavern in a suburb of Stockholm. The Ågesta reactor was mainly used for district heating and was in operation between 1964 and 1974. It was permanently shut down in 1974. The first commercial nuclear power plant, Oskarshamn unit 1, was commissioned in 1972 and was followed by another eleven units sited at Barsebäck, Oskarshamn, Ringhals and Forsmark up until 1985. The twelve commercial reactors constructed in Sweden comprise nine BWRs (ASEA-Atom design) and three PWRs (Westinghouse design). As a result of political decisions, the twin BWR units Barsebäck 1 and 2 were shut down permanently in 1999 and 2005, respectively.
In 2004, Studsvik Nuclear AB decided to shut down two research reactors (R2 and R2-0) on the Studsvik site. They were closed in June 2005 and are currently undergoing decommissioning.
An application for a licence to construct, own and operate a nuclear facility consisting of one or two nuclear power reactors with adjacent facilities was presented to the SSM in July 2012. At the time the applicant, Vattenfall, considered to replace the two oldest units in Ringhals with one or two new units. However, in late 2014 Vattenfall informed SSM that all on-going work related to plans for new build of nuclear reactors had been put on hold and there is currently no intention to resume the project.
During autumn 2015, at the extraordinary shareholders’ meetings of RAB and OKG, decision in principal have been taken on phase-out of the reactors Ringhals unit 1, unit 2 and Oskarshamn unit 1 and unit 2. The decisions were taken in respect to the overall business and energy market situation, existing taxes, and SSM’s safety requirements regarding operation beyond 2020.
The owners of OKG decided to stop and cancel implementation of the ongoing safety modernization of Oskarshamn unit 2. This unit was in long term outage for modernization since 2013 and it was decided not to restart the unit. OKG have also decided that Oskarshamn unit 1 will continue operation until the annual outage in 2017. After the outage 2017 Oskarshamn unit 1 will go into decommissioning phase as well. The new mission for the utility is safe and effective decommissioning of these two units. OKGs largest reactor, unit 3, is planned to be in operation with a planned lifespan until 2045.
The owners of RAB have decided that operation of Ringhals unit 2 will end in 2019 and that operation of Ringhals unit 1 in 2020. As a consequence, all major investments for these units have been cancelled, but all necessary measures to maintain safety will be taken until they are taken out of operation. In parallel, planning for safe and efficient decommissioning is ongoing.
For Forsmark units 1, 2, 3 and Ringhals units 3 and 4 the safety development programmes continue as planned with expected lifetime up to 60 years.
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