Vattenfall to extend life of Swedish nuclear reactors to 2040

Author: Christopher Somers


Energy giant Vattenfall will extend the life of two Swedish nuclear reactors totalling 2.2GW of capacity to 2040, the company said in a statement on Friday.

The state-owned utility said it had taken the decision to upgrade the 1.05GW Ringhals 3 and 1.15GW Ringhals 4 reactors in order to ensure the plant would remain competitive in the Nordic power market.

“The investment comes at a time when essential measures are being taken to increase efficiency in order to meet the tough competition on the electricity market,” Vattenfall head of generation Torbjorn Wahlborg said in the statement.

Vattenfall, which operates a range of conventional and renewable assets across the Nordics and mainland Europe, also announced it would slightly delay the decommissioning of the 900MW Ringhals 1 and the 865MW unit 2 by six months, extending the life of the former to December 2020 and the latter to the end of 2019.

Sweden currently has almost 9.1GW of nuclear capacity connected to the grid. The country has committed to increasing its installed nuclear generation capacity in the coming years but currently has no projects in the pipeline. Developments in neighbouring Finland have been hampered by ballooning costs, construction setbacks and legal battles.

Most notably, the giant 1.6GW Olkiluoto 3 project, which was originally due to be operational by 2009, has been struck by repeated setbacks which have delayed project by a decade (click here to read story).