The Swedish nuclear power plant, Ringhals 1, was shut down as planned on 31 December after nearly 45 years of power operation.
"Ringhals 1 and Ringhals 2, which was taken out of service one year ago, represent a piece of industrial history that we can be proud of. They have contributed towards safe and reliable electricity generation over a long time, for the benefit of Swedish society. Our attention is now directed towards the continued operation of Ringhals 3 and Ringhals 4, both equipped with additional safety systems and developed to generate safe and reliable electricity as a supplement to weather dependent renewable electricity," said Vattenfall CEO Anna Borg.
Ringhals 1 was put into commercial service on 1 January 1976 and at the time of its final shutdown was estimated to have delivered 220 TWh hours of electricity, which corresponds to the whole of Gothenburg’s consumption during the same period.
"The decision in 2015, made for business reasons, to close Ringhals 1 and 2 some five years earlier than planned was right then and remains right today. Electricity systems of the future should not be constructed using outdated technology. However, in future it cannot be excluded that new nuclear power technology in the form of small modular reactors will be built – yet all types of electricity generation must, of course, be competitive from a cost standpoint to be of interest to the market," commented Anna Borg.
The Ringhals 3 and 4 reactors have been equipped with independent core cooling, at an investment of SEK 900 million and a regulatory requirement to continue operations after the turn of the year. Ringhals 3 and 4 provide approximately 12 % of the country’s electricity generation. The four Ringhals units together accounted for around 20 % of Swedish electricity generation.