Nuclear power plant closure divides plant co-owners

Caption: Oskarshamn nuclear power plant

 

Nuclear power plant co-owners in Sweden are on opposite ends of a decision to shut down the plant.
 
E.ON, the majority owner of Oskarshamn nuclear units 1 and 2, said it intends to begin the closing process of the reactors because there is no economic benefit to keeping them open. Shareholders of OKG Aktiebolag, E.ON and minority-owner Fortum will make the final decision. However, Fortum says it believes the plant can be operated until the end of their operational life cycles.

“The conditions for the electricity market have changed significantly in recent years,” said  E.On Sweden CEO Jonas Abrahamsson. “Historically and permanently low electricity prices, combined with increased output tax on nuclear power, and additional requirements for extensive investments create profitability issues, particularly for small reactors such as Oskarshamn 2."
 
The 473-MW Oskarshamn 1, the oldest nuclear power plant in the country, has applied for an environmental permit to transfer to the service mode if it is later decided. Unit 1 began operating in 1972 and could shut down between 2017 and 2019. The 638-MW Unit 2 could close by 2020. Fortum says there are other means of keeping Unit 2 operating.
 
“The recent modernization investments of the Oskarshamn 2 have been carried out with a target to continue production until the end of the unit’s lifetime and with increased capacity,” said Tiina Tuomela, executive vice president, Nuclear and Thermal Power with Fortum. “Considering the investments made as well as our strong expertise as a nuclear operator and a global service provider, we see that there are other measures to be taken to ensure safe and reliable production at Oskarshamn 2 till the end of its planned lifetime.”
 
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