The Swedish Radiation Safety Authority (SSM) has approved the safety analysis report (SAR) for dismantling and demolition of units 1 and 2 at the Barsebäck nuclear plant marking the transition from the post-operation phase to dismantling and demolition. However, before any measures can be taken to dismantle and demolish these reactors SSM must be notified.

Barsebäck 1&2 are boiling water reactors that were in commercial operation from 1975 to 1999 and 1977 to 2005 respectively. The plant is owned by Sydkraft Nuclear Power, whose subsidiary Barsebäck Kraft is the licensee of Barsebäck units 1&2 under the Act on Nuclear Activities.

“This means that Barsebäck Kraft is in charge of ensuring that the nuclear activities meet nuclear safety and radiation protection requirements, and is under an obligation to take the measures required for safe decommissioning and dismantling of the reactors," according to Martin Amft, a senior specialist at SSM.

"Under the Radiation Protection Act, the company must also, as soon as it is reasonably practicable, take the measures necessary to enable the release of building structures and areas that may have been contaminated by radioactive substances from the operations,” said Amft.

The reactors were defuelled in 2006 and 2016, following special authorisations, a new interim storage facility was constructed at the Barsebäck site to house the reactor internals pending shipment to a future geological repository. In April, Barsebäck Kraft submitted an application for approval of the revised SAR for dismantling and demolition the Barsebäck units. “Based on our extensive review, we assess that Barsebäck Kraft meets the applicable requirements and has completed suitable preparations for safe dismantling of Barsebäck 1 and 2,” said Amft.

SSM said the revised SAR adequately demonstrates the facility’s safety arrangements. These are to provide adequate protection against harmful effects of ionising radiation for human health and the environment; to prevent the uncontrolled release of radioactive substances and for treatment and interim storage of nuclear waste.

Photo: Barsebäck nuclear plant