Nuvia, a subsidiary of France-based Vinci Construction, has been awarded a contract by Swedish energy company Vattenfall to dismantle units 1&2 of Sweden’s Ringhals NPP. Nuvia will be responsible for dismantling, controlling and sorting all materials, including radioactive materials, present inside the reactor buildings. The work, which is expected to take place between 2025 and 2031, will involve up to 400 people.

Nuvia, through its local subsidiary Nuvia Nordic AB, is present in Sweden where it has experience in nuclear decommissioning projects. In 2022, Nuvia won the contract (lot 5) to dismantle the large elements of the primary circuit of’ of the two Ringhals units.

Unit 1 of Sweden’s Ringhals nuclear power plant was permanently shutdown in December 2020 after 44 years of operation – a year after closure of Ringhals 2, according to plant operator, Ringhals AB, which is majority owned by Vattenfall (70.4%) and Sydkraft Nuclear Power (29.6%).

Ringhals 1, a 910 MWe boiling water reactor (BWR) was built by Asea Atom between 1969 and 1975 and began operation in 1976. The other three units at the Ringhals NPP are Westinghouse pressurised water reactors (PWRs), including the 960 MWe Ringhals 2. Ringhals 3&4, both 1100MWe plants, are expected to operate until the beginning of the 2040s.

Ringhals 1&2 were originally expected to operate for 50 years, until 2025 and 2026 but Vattenfall's Board of Directors decided in 2015 their early closure in face of low electricity prices and the need for major investments to necessary refurbishment. In August 2021, Vattenfall awarded a contract to Westinghouse for the segmentation and disposal of the reactor pressure vessels, internals and fuel racks at Ringhals 1&2.

Image courtesy of Nuvia