Swedish Radiation Safety Authority approves dismantling and demolition of Barsebäck reactor units 1 and 2

The Swedish Radiation Safety Authority has approved the safety analysis report (SAR) for dismantling and demolition of the reactor units 1 and 2 at the Barsebäck plant, signifying that the transition from the post-operation phase to the phase of dismantling and demolition is allowed to commence. Before measures are allowed to be taken to dismantle and demolish these reactors, notification to the Swedish Radiation Safety Authority is required.

The nuclear power reactors 1 and 2 at the Barsebäck NPP are boiling water reactors that were in commercial operation during the respective periods 1975–1999 and 1977–2005. The nuclear power plant is located in Kävlinge Municipality, situated by the Öresund strait. The plant is owned by Sydkraft Nuclear Power AB, whose subsidiary Barsebäck Kraft AB is the licensee of Barsebäck units 1 and 2 under the Act on Nuclear Activities.

“This means that Barsebäck Kraft AB is in charge of ensuring that the nuclear activities meet nuclear safety and radiation protection requirements, and is under an obligation to take the measures required for safe decommissioning and dismantling of the reactors. Under the Radiation Protection Act, the company must also, as soon as it is reasonably practicable, take the measures necessary to enable the release of building structures and areas that may have been contaminated by radioactive substances from the operations,” says Martin Amft, a senior specialist at the Swedish Radiation Safety Authority.

Since 2006, the reactors have been free from nuclear fuel and been in the post-operation phase. This implies that the facility is to maintain radiation safety in preparation for dismantling and demolition. In 2016, following special authorisations, a new interim storage facility was constructed at the Barsebäck site. Here, reactor internals are kept in storage pending shipment to a future geological repository.

On 16 April 2019, Barsebäck Kraft AB submitted an application for approval of the revised SAR for dismantling and demolition of Barsebäck units 1 and 2. The Swedish Radiation Safety Authority has reviewed the SAR and supporting reports, such as decommissioning and waste management plans.

“Based on our extensive review, we assess that Barsebäck Kraft AB meets the applicable requirements and has completed suitable preparations for safe dismantling of Barsebäck units 1 and 2,” says Mr Amft.

In particular, the Authority assesses that the revised SAR for Barsebäck units 1 and 2 adequately demonstrates the facility’s safety arrangements for the purposes of:

  • Providing adequate protection against harmful effects of ionising radiation on the part of human health and the environment, and
  • Preventing uncontrolled release of radioactive substances and unauthorised dealing with nuclear waste in connection with dismantling and demolition of these reactors, together with associated treatment and interim storage of nuclear waste.

For more information, please contact: Martin Amft, senior specialist and site inspector, Tel. +46 8 799 40 23, or, alternatively, the Authority’s duty press officer on Tel. +46 8 799 40 20.