So, if I understand this correctly, Green policy in Sweden may eventually lead to a point - sometime in the future - where they will have decommissioned all their reactors except one, and this last one will be uprated to about a gazillion megawatts, with plant-life extended indefinitely, in order to make up for the shutdowns & lack of new construction.
Brilliant, huh ?
....the Greens sure know how to increase safety margins !
NUCLEONICS WEEK - February 13, 2003
PLANNED UPRATES AT RINGHALS-3, -4
FORSMARK WOULD ADD 240 MW AT LEAST
Managers at Sweden's Ringhals-3 and -4 and Forsmark
station are planning power uprates over the next several years
that would add at least 240 megawatts, as electricity prices
increase and the political climate for uprates improves.
Ringhals management is seeking a 12% uprate, which
would add about 109 MW, at the 915-MW Ringhals-3 PWR
this spring, Ringhals AB President Jan Edberg told Nucleonics
Week. "The need for power in Sweden has increased,"
Edberg said, adding higher power prices mean uprate investments
are economic. Edberg predicted that long-term power
prices will average between 20 and 22 oere (1.7 to 1.9 U.S.
cents) per kilowatt-hour (KWH) this year, up about 25% from two years ago.
Ringhals sells its power to owners Vattenfall and Sydkraft
under a contract based on those prices. The owners in turn sell
partially on the spot market. Ringhals' production costs vary
between about 15 and 20 oere/KWH, Edberg said.
At the same time, the government has signaled it is open
to approving uprates. Last year, it asked officials at the Swedish
Nuclear Power Inspectorate (SKI) to look at the possibilities
for uprating reactors. In a report delivered in November,
SKI said capacity could be increased by several hundred
megawatts, without safety problems, but did not give a specific uprate amount.
The government is currently considering whether to
order the shutdown of the 600-MW Barsebaeck-2, and one
key factor is whether sufficient replacement power, preferably
domestic, is available. Sources say that power uprates could
be one solution to that problem in the longer term.
Some political sources have also suggested that this will
be a reprise of what happened after the 1980 referendum in
which Swedes voted to phase out nuclear power but to allow
the reactors then under construction to be completed and operate.
New steam generators were installed at Ringhals-3 several
years ago, paving the way for a power uprate. But at the time,
plant management said asking for an uprate was too politically
sensitive and they doubted an application would be approved,
a feeling that was generally echoed in the Swedish
nuclear industry. There were also problems with turbine vibration
and fuel bowing at the unit, which SKI said are being solved.
Ringhals management will ask for the uprate in connection
with the new environmental impact report it submitted to
authorities Feb. 12. Edberg said that the plan is to increase
power at Ringhals-3 by 8% in 2005, assuming the government
approves the application. Application review should
take about a year, he said. Although formal approval comes
from the government, its opinion is largely based on SKI's recommendation.
The remaining 4% uprate is scheduled to be phased in
when turbines are replaced at the unit, some time after 2006.
New turbines can also boost the efficiency of the reactor by
"several hundred megawatts," Edberg said. Because new
steam generators are already in place, he said the cost to increase
the reactor's power would be relatively modest, about
30-million kronor (U.S.$3.5-million).
A 12% uprate at Ringhals-4, also a 915-MW PWR, is
likely as well, Edberg said, but will be much more expensive
because the unit will need new steam generators. He said the
uprate costs, including steam generators, would be about 1-
billion kronor (U.S.$117.6-million). A change-out is planned
for 2010. Units 1 and 2 could also be uprated, but there are no
firm plans yet. Ringhals AB also may uprate Barsebaeck-2 if it is not shut.
At Forsmark, managers expect to increase capacity at the
three reactors by a total of 130 MW. That would mean an
additional annual production of 1 terawatt-hour once low-
pressure turbines are replaced, representing about one-third of
Barsebaeck-2's annual production. Like Ringhals, Forsmark
is majority owned by Vattenfall.
A 500-million-kronor ($59-million) contract was signed
last week with Alstom Power Sweden to replace the low-pressure
turbines at Forsmark-1 and -2, both 970-MW BWRs.
The turbines will be replaced in 2005 and 2006. Last year,
Siemens won an order to replace the turbine at the 1,150-MW
Forsmark-3 BWR, which will be done next year.
Forsmark spokesman Claes-Inge Andersson said that price
was the deciding factor in awarding both contracts, and that
Alstom was able to outbid Siemens as well as several other
competitors. "On the technical side, they were about the same," he said.
Unlike Ringhals, he said, Forsmark will not need government
approval for the uprate, because it will come as a result
of improved turbine efficiency rather than a change in core
thermal output. It is also not expected to result in increased
thermal effluents, which could have environmental consequences.
There is also room for uprating at OKG's Oskarshamn, but
no decision has been made yet.-Ariane Sains, Stockholm