Swedish nuclear plant future threatened as investment cut

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The board of Sweden's Ringhals nuclear power plant has decided to limit investments into its two oldest reactors, Ringhals-1 and Ringhals-2, majority owner and operator Vattenfall, said on Friday.

The decision means it is unlikely the facility will be able to operate beyond 2020 under the present conditions. The World Nuclear Association told PEi that Sweden's current policy approach to nuclear is not helping the country maintain a sustainable generating mix.
Ringhals
Reuters reports that the board has decided to stop ongoing investment projects from 2017 and to cancel new investments into the two nuclear reactors with a total capacity of 1,746 MW, which were previously expected to operate until around 2025.

"There is no formal decision to shut down the reactors, however, as the discussions with E.ON are still ongoing," a spokesman said.

Vattenfall
has a 70.4 percent stake in the plant, which has four reactors in total, and while Germany's E.ON holds the remaining 29.6 percent, its consent is needed to shut the reactors.

David Hess, Communications Manager at the World Nuclear Association told Power Engineering International that current Swedish energy policy, and especially prohibitive taxes and charges, are suffocating that country’s nuclear plants.

"It’s not yet too late to take steps in order to preserve these immensely valuable societal assets, but time is surely running out. Unfortunately it’s much quicker to set policies that tear down a reliable sustainable generating mix than to create those which build one up. I hope the Swedish people realise this quickly.”

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