Unit 1 at Sweden's Oskarshamn NPP will close permanently in mid 2017, owner OKG said on 17 February. OKG CEO Johan Dasht said this was best from an economic and safety perspective. The shutdown date will require approval from the Swedish Radiation Safety Authority and the local Land and Environment Court. In October, a majority of OKG's shareholders voted to close the reactor between 2017 and 2019, before the end of its technical lifetime, because continued operation would not be profitable. Oskarshamn 1, Sweden's oldest reactor, is a 473MWe boiling water reactor (BWR) that started up in 1972.

Shareholders also voted to shut the 638MWe Oskarshamn 2 ahead of schedule, citing financial reasons. The reactor began commercial operation in January 1975. Oskarshamn 2 has been out of operation since June 2013 for an extensive safety modernisation and will not now be put back into operation. In October OKG said the closures do not affect Oskarshamn 3, which should continue to operate until 2045. OKG is majority owned by Uniper Sweden, formerly E.ON Sweden, and Fortum. Fortum said in June 2015 that it wanted to keep the reactors operating. Uniper Sweden has blamed a combination of low electricity prices and high taxes and fees for the units' lack of profitability. In January, Fortum said the planned early closure of the units had resulted in a fall in operating profit for 2015 of 26%.

Dasht said, "An orderly and planned closure of Oskarshamn 1 is conditional upon having motivated employees that are fully focused on production up to the date of closure, but who must also be focused on new assignments in other modes of operation."

Following closure of the unit, there will be four phases to its decommissioning, OKG said. In the first phase, fuel will be removed from its reactor and stored in its fuel pools for about a year, before being transported to SKB's near-by used fuel facility at Clab. After all fuel has been removed, the unit will enter a phase of care and maintenance. Later, physical dismantling and demolition of the unit will begin. Once the site is cleared and classified as free from radioactivity it can be used for other purposes. OKG said, "An exact schedule for the length of time it will take before the facilities can be demolished and the restoration of the land can commence is currently not available."

Date: Monday, 22 February 2016
Original article: neimagazine.com/news/newsoskarshamn-1-to-close-in-2017-4820313