Owners clash on Oskarshamn closure plans

24 June 2015

E.On has announced its plans for early closure of the Oskarshamn 1&2 nuclear reactors in Sweden. However Fortum, which owns a minority 45.5% stake in the units disagrees.

Oskarshamn 1 is a 492MW boiling water reactor that started up in 1972. It was previously expected to operate for 50 years. However, earlier this month OKG announced that it had applied to a Swedish land and environment court for a licence to decommission the reactor.

E.On has now said it intends to discontinue electricity production at Oskarshamn 1 and start decommissioning after permission has been granted, which is expected in 2017-2019.

E.On is also looking to close the 661MW Oskarshamn 2 BWR 'as soon as possible'. Oskarshamn 2 started operation in 1975 and has been undergoing an extensive modernision programme since 2007.

The reactor was expected to operate for 60 years, but E.On now says there a "lack of economic opportunities" for operation of Oskarshamn 2 beyond 2020. OKG had recently postponed an 180MW power uprate planned for the unit in 2017 because of insufficient market need.

In a separate statement, Fortum said it would prefer for continued operation at Oskarshamn 1&2.

"On the contrary to E.On's view, we believe that it is possible to continue production in Oskarshamn units 1 and 2 until the end of their planned
operational lifetimes," said Tiina Tuomela, executive vice president, Nuclear and Thermal Power at Fortum.

The Finnish utility said that continuing production in Oskarshamn 1&2 would be beneficial for all parties. It would give more time to increase CO2-free energy production and to secure the energy supply for the Swedish industry and the society as a whole. The three units at Oskarshamn currently generate 10% of Swedish electricity.

The governing bodies of OKG are set to meet in the third quarter of 2015 to make a decision on the proposed closures.

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