Westinghouse Electric Company said on 17 December that it had signed a contract with Swedish utility Vattenfall to segment the nuclear reactor at its Ågesta Nuclear Plant near Stockholm.
Westinghouse will plan, design and manufacture the tools for segmentation, as well as perform the site work. This includes the underwater mechanical cutting of the reactor vessel and its internal components and packing the pieces in containers for Vattenfall to remove from site.
The Ågesta Nuclear Plant, a 10MWe pressurised heavy water reactor (PHWR), was the first nuclear plant in Sweden. It opened in 1964 and was in operation for 10 years before ceasing operation in 1974. It produced district heating as well as electricity and was also initially used for plutonium production. Since the shutdown, limited service has been carried out to maintain the necessary basic functions.
The nuclear fuel and the heavy water were removed from the plant directly after the shut-down. In June 2019, Vattenfall applied for approval of the safety report for its dismantling. In December 2019, the Swedish Radiation Safety Authority (SSM- Strålsäkerhetsmyndigheten) approved the safety report for dismantling and demolition of the reactor, which is sited in an underground rock cavern. SSM said Vattenfall had taken appropriate measures to enable demolition to take place “in a radiation-safe manner”.