Fast track for the revival of old BWR plants

The law prohibiting the building new reactors in Sweden will be changed to allow the replacement of the currently operating reactors with new ones. The power industry has declared that, to start with, Oskarshanm 1 and Ringhals 1 would be replaced. Meanwhile, Finland is also building a new reactor, Olkiluoto 3. The project has been delayed for several years and the cost has doubled, mainly because of problems with the construction.

Today, the possibility exists of housing in existing reactor buildings a new improved reactor, the High Pressure Boiling Water Reactor (HP-BWR). This concept was first expounded in ENS NEWS (see references below) and at ENS conferences, namely ENC2007 and TOPSAFE 2008. The HP-BWR is safer, more environmentally-friendly and costs less to build than older reactor types. This new design is based on operating experience gained during half a century in Sweden and internationally. This reactor’s power output could almost double that of compared to existing types and the construction costs substantially reduced. A new HP-BWR could be operational by 2020.

Ten years ago, the Barsebäck 1 plant, in Sweden, was closed. Since then, radiation in the reactor vessel and its surroundings has been greatly reduced. Several components have been dismantled and removed, but the buildings are still intact. All this facilitates a possible change-over to the installation of an HP-BWR in the same building. Today, Italy and France are building at least four new reactors and others are being built elsewhere in Europe, the US and Asia. Within this context, perhaps Swedes (especially those living in the Malmö area) and Danes (especially those living in the Copenhagen area) might now accept that the operation of a safer and more environmentally-friendly reactor would be a good thing.

Frigyes Reisch
Stockholm, Sweden

References in previous editions of ENS NEWS:

2007 October
Concept of a Future High Pressure - Boiling Water Reactor, HP-BWR

2008 July
Concept of a Future High Pressure - Boiling Water Reactor, HP-BWR


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