Sweden on 30 December shut down the 807MWe unit 2 at its four-unit Ringhals nuclear power plant after more than 43 years of operation.
Its owners Swedish state-owned energy group Vattenfall and German utility Uniper, cited a lack of profitability and rising maintenance costs.
Ringhals, the largest of Sweden’s three nuclear plants has generated some 215TWh of electricity over its lifetime. The pressurised water reactor was supplied by Westinghouse Electric Corp. in 1970 and started commercial operation in 1975.
The decision to close Ringhals 2 five years early was taken in a 2015. Ringhals 1 (880MWe) is also scheduled for closure next year. Vattenfall had planned to operate Ringhals 1&2 until about 2025. But in September 2015 said no further investment would be made in the units after 2017, resulting in savings of about €180m ($200m) but making required safety upgrades impossible.
However, Vattenfall said in 2017 that it planned to invest about €90m to upgrade Ringhals 3&4, which will continue operating until the 2040s.
Sweden now has seven commercial reactors in operation at three nuclear power plants - three at Ringhals, three at Forsmark and one at Oskarshamn.
Photo: Ringhals 2 shut down on 30 December (Credit: Vattenfall)