Plant Operation

Sweden / Ringhals Is ‘Preparing Safely For LTO Of Unit 3, Says IAEA

By David Dalton
18 September 2020

Ringhals Is ‘Preparing Safely For LTO Of Unit 3, Says IAEA
The Ringhals nuclear power station in Sweden. Courtesy Vattenfall.
The operator of the Ringhals-3 nuclear power plant in Sweden is preparing safely for the unit’s long-term operation, but further work is necessary to ensure that ageing management and LTO related data are consistent and complete and to establish a long-term staffing plan for LTO, an International Atomic Energy Agency mission has said.

The IAEA Salto (Safety Aspects of Long-Term Operation) mission was requested by the Swedish Radiation Safety Authority (SSM), the Nordic country’s nuclear regulatory body.

The Salto team, whose review began on 15 September, focused on aspects essential to the LTO of Ringhals-3, a 1,062-MW pressurised water reactor unit which went into operation in 1981. The original design lifetime of Unit 3 and Unit 4 will expire in 2021 and 2023 respectively.

Vattenfall AB, the plant operator, is planning to extend operation of both units for a total operational lifetime of 60 years each. The mission reviewed Ringhals’ response to recommendations and suggestions made during an initial IAEA Salto mission in 2018.

The IAEA team said that since the 2018 mission the plant had:

* Improved ageing management of civil structures and buildings;

* Improved plant processes to manage LTO activities and plant personnel awareness of ageing management and LTO activities;

* Completed a revalidation of time limited ageing analyses for mechanical components.

“The team observed that the operator is preparing Unit 3 for safe LTO in a timely manner,” said team leader and IAEA senior nuclear safety officer Robert Krivanek. “Basing their efforts on recommendations made by the Salto team in 2018, the plant has made significant improvements in the area of ageing management and has shown continued commitment to preparing for safe LTO.”

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