Fortum and Uniper agree on dismantling Swedish nuclear plants

11 June 2020

The two-unit Barseback nuclear plant in SwedenFinland’s Fortum and Uniper Sweden have signed an agreement on a dismantling project at Oskarshamn and Barsebäck nuclear plants in Sweden.

Fortum was awarded the contract in a competitive bidding process.

Uniper is carrying out large scale decommissioning of four Swedish nuclear units in one common programme - Oskarshamn 1&2, and Barsebäck 1&2. The project includes dismantling of the turbine auxiliary systems, feedwater systems and moisture separator reheaters.

The duration of the contract is about one year, with work estimated to be completed in summer 2021.

“Our expertise in conventional dismantling technologies and methods coupled with 40 years of experience in the nuclear industry, enable us to provide responsible, cost-efficient and reliable solutions and services for nuclear-decommissioning projects," said Anni Jaarinen, head of decommissioning and waste at Fortum.  Fortum has now been awarded dismantling contracts in both Sweden and Finland.

Uniper said the radiological demolition of the closed reactors is being carried out in a joint and coordinated programme during the period 2020-2028. The strategy for radiological demolition is first to remove the most radioactive waste – primarily the reactor tanks and their contents, which has already begun. A systematic review of the entire plant will follow, during which different parts will be dismantled according to a synchronised and shared schedule.

The next major work involves dismantling turbines. Specifically the turbines' auxiliary systems, feedwater systems and moisture separators will be dismantled by Fortum. The work will start at Oskarshamn in August and finish at Barsebäck in the spring of 2021.

In 2018, Uniper decided on a long-term and joint strategy for the dismantling and demolition of all reactors at Barsebäck Kraft (BKAB) and the two reactors that have been closed at Oskarshamn (OKG). Uniper leads and runs this project. “With a joint portfolio we can take advantage of all the skills and experience we have - not least from Germany where Uniper has already installed nuclear power plants. So far, the project has exceeded expectations, and we have good margins in both schedules and funding, said Uniper Sweden CEO Johan Svenningsson.

The price tag for dismantling four reactors is around SEK10 billion ($1bn) and is financed by the Nuclear Waste Fund, the nuclear power companies' self-funded fund. The money will be used to manage the used nuclear fuel and to finance the dismantling and demolition of the plants.

“Sweden has a robust system for financing and handling nuclear power residual products. Now we fulfil our responsibility and close the circle that started in the 1970s," Svenningsson said.

The two 600MWe ABB-designed boiling water reactors (BWRs) at Barsebäck were shut down in November 1999 and May 2005. They were closed in face of pressure from Denmark. All the nuclear fuel has already been removed from the Barsebäck plant. The Swedish Radiation and Safety Authority (SSM) gave its approval for dismantling and demolition of the units in December. Work to dismantle, segment and package the reactor pressure vessel internals is being undertaken by Westinghouse.

Photo: Fortum will be involved in work to decommission the two-unit Barsebäck nuclear plant in Sweden



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