Nuclear Decommissioning: Agreement Signed for 2 Plants in Sweden


Nuclear dismantling in Sweden continues

Agreement signed for the nuclear decommissioning of the Oskarshamn and Barsebäck plants

Fortum and Uniper Sweden have signed an agreement on a project to decommission the Oskarshamn and Barsebäck nuclear power plants in Sweden. Fortum was awarded the agreement through a competitive bidding process.

Uniper is carrying out large-scale nuclear decommissioning of four units in a joint program, NS Energy reveals. The recently awarded nuclear decommissioning project includes the dismantling of turbine auxiliary systems, water supply systems and moisture separator heaters. The work will be carried out in two plants and four units in total in Sweden: Oskarshamn units 1 and 2 and Barsebäck units 1 and 2. The term of the agreement is approximately one year, with completion expected in the summer of 2021.

Nuclear dismantling, a growing market

Nuclear decommissioning is a growing business and Fortum has now secured contracts in Sweden and Finland.

“Our expertise in conventional nuclear decommissioning technologies and methods, combined with 40 years of experience in the nuclear industry, allows us to provide responsible, cost-effective and reliable solutions and services for nuclear decommissioning projects,” says Anni Jaarinen, decommissioning and waste manager.

“This is the first nuclear decommissioning project for us in Sweden and we are delighted to contribute to the decommissioning of the Oskarshamn and Barsebäck nuclear power plants and look forward to the cooperation with Uniper Sweden,” continues Sergey Ilyukhin, project manager.

dismantling of nuclear power plants
Oskarshamns nuclear power plant (source: Wikipedia)

Nuclear decommissioning of the Oskarshamn and Barsebäck plants

The dismantling process

Uniper said the radiological demolition of closed reactors will be carried out in a joint, coordinated program during the period 2020-2028, Nuclear Engineering International Magazine reports. The radiological demolition strategy is to first remove the most radioactive waste – mainly the reactor tanks and their contents, which has already begun. A systematic review of the entire plant will follow, during which the various parts will be dismantled according to a synchronized and shared schedule.

The next big job is dismantling the turbines. Specifically, the turbine auxiliary systems, water supply systems and moisture separators will be dismantled by Fortum. Work will start in Oskarshamn in August and be completed in Barsebäck in the spring of 2021.

In 2018, Uniper decided on a joint long-term strategy for the decommissioning and demolition of all reactors at Barsebäck Kraft (BKAB) and the two reactors that were shut down at Oskarshamn (OKG). Uniper leads and manages this project.

“With a joint portfolio, we can leverage all the skills and experience we have – especially in Germany, where Uniper has already installed nuclear power plants. So far, the project has exceeded expectations, and we have good margins, both in terms of timing and financing,” said Johan Svenningsson, CEO of Uniper Sweden.

Once the dismantling is finished

When conventional dismantling is complete, the land will be a wasteland and will have the same level of radiation as the surrounding countryside. The level of natural radiation is very low in Skåne. Uniper owns the parcel and will decide later on the use of the land. For example, the infrastructure related to the plant is suitable for electricity production.

Uniper has communicated that its mission is to dismantle and prepare the ground for the final state of the brownfield.

The cost of nuclear decommissioning of Oskarshamn and Barsebäck

The cost of decommissioning four reactors amounts to about 10 billion Swedish kronor (about 950,000 euros) and is financed by the Nuclear Waste Fund, the self-financing fund of nuclear power companies. The money will be used to manage used nuclear fuel and to finance the dismantling and demolition of the plants.

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