Vattenfall Starts Working On Plans For New Reactors At Ringhals

Last week, Vattenfall (ENS Corporate Member) announced that it is seeking approval from local authorities to develop a detailed plan for the construction of new nuclear power reactors near the existing Ringhals nuclear power plant, in western Sweden.

Vattenfall already owns most of the land west of Ringhals, where it operates two PWR units dating back to the early 1980s.

The application for the new reactors necessitates a detailed plan, and Vattenfall is applying for a planning notice from Varberg municipality.

The company aims to have these new reactors in operation in the early 2030s. Therefore, Vattenfall has initiated property purchases in the area designated for electricity production and cogeneration.

However, the final investment decision will only be made once all required permits are obtained. Vattenfall said it had begun work on an environmental impact statement (EIS) for new nuclear.

The company did not say what reactor type or capacity it is planning, but had said earlier that the EIS work falls within the framework of a preliminary study on small modular reactors at Ringhals and includes field studies and ground surveys in the area around Ringhals.

Read the full press release on the Vattenfall website (in Swedish) and on NucNet.

Ringhals has been selected as a possible site for further Vattenfall’s projects.

In June 2022, the Swedish company started a feasibility study for the deployment of at least two small modular reactor (SMR) units at the site of the Ringhals NPP.

Vattenfall said the study is focusing on this location because more electricity generation is expected to be needed in the region. Moreover, Ringhals would be a suitable location for SMRs because they can replace two shutdown reactors Ringhals-1 and Ringhals-2 within the existing legislation, and there is already grid infrastructure in place that makes connecting new electricity generation simpler.

The feasibility study is expected to be completed by the end of 2023 or early 2024.

Last spring, Vattenfall started also exploring the opportunity to produce low-carbon hydrogen at Ringhals, where “there are good conditions for building electrolysers and creating a very flexible production facility for both fossil-free electricity and hydrogen” Andreas Regnell, head of strategy at Vattenfall, said.