Closure of ‘unprofitable’ Swedish nuclear plants confirmed

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E.ON and Fortum have confirmed that two nuclear reactors at the Oskarshamn plant in Sweden are to be closed before the end of their planned life.

The World Nuclear Association told Power Engineering International that they are concerned about the message such closures, driven by an anti nuclear policy, convey in terms of the world's efforts to decarbonise, as the COP21 conference in Paris draws closer.

Oskarshamn nuclear power plant
Persistently low Nordic power prices combined with a nuclear capacity tax in Sweden have made operations at the plants unprofitable.

David Hess of the World Nuclear Association told Power Engineering International, “It’s a great shame that these units have to close. Anti-nuclear policies, and especially nuclear-specific taxes, are putting untenable pressure on plant owners in several European countries, such as Sweden. As a result we are now seeing the loss of low-carbon, reliable and otherwise cost-effective energy producing assets.”

“This gives completely the wrong message in the lead up to the Paris climate talks.”  

The decision confirmed on Wednesday that the 638 MW Oskarshamn-2 unit will not restart after maintenance while the 473 MW Oskarshamn-1 unit will be shut and decommissioned once the Swedish authorities grant a permit.
The shutdown plans, previously announced by E.ON, were confirmed at a shareholders meeting of OKG, which is 54.5 percent owned by E.ON and 45.5 percent by Fortum.

"There are no prospects of generating financial profitability either in the short or the long term, neither for the unit 1 nor for the unit 2," OKG said in a statement.

The two reactors, in operation since 1972 and 1974 respectively, were expected to operate for at least 50 years. The third, newer and larger unit at the plant, the 1,400 MW Oskarshamn-3, was expected to operate until 2045, OKG said.

Fortum has said the closure of the two Oskarshamn units before the end of their planned life will have a one-off negative impact of about 700 million euros ($800 million) on its third-quarter net profit this year.


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