At the end of April this year, Vattenfall, which is the majority shareholder in Ringhals AB, decided to change its decision regarding the period of operation of reactors 1 and 2.
The decision meant that the reactors would be shut down between 2018 and 2020 rather than in the mid-2020s. The background to the decision was poor profitability and increased costs.
Since that time talks have been held with Eon, which owns the remainder of Ringhals AB. Torbjörn Wahlborg, the Chairman of the Board of Ringhals AB and Head of Generation at Vattenfall, says "We failed to reach an agreement. However, market conditions and the impact of the high output tax have prompted us to limit investments in Ringhals 1 and 2. The investment decision, which had to wait while talks with Eon were under way, will not be subject to review. We also decided to stop ongoing investment projects that would have been implemented from 2017 onwards."
"Difficult but necessary"
Given the limited investments, Ringhals' Managing director Eva Halldén, has decided that Ringhals 1 and 2 can be in operation until 2020 at the latest.
"In order to ensure that our operations remain safe and stable, our plants have to be upgraded and improved on an ongoing basis. According to our analysis of the board's decision, under current conditions, Ringhals 1 and 2 can remain in operation until 2020 at the latest. Clearly this is a difficult but necessary decision for me as CEO and the licensee to take following the board's decision to limit investments. At the same time, we now have a timeframe to work from when planning and dimensioning for ongoing operations," says Eva Halldén.
Planning for the future decommissioning of Ringhals 1 and 2 is in full swing in business area Generation.
"Clearly, I wish we hadn't had to take the decision to limit investments. During the course of the year Ringhals 1 and 2 have been upgraded and modernized to comply with the requirements imposed on new plants. But, unfortunately, the situation on the market gives us no scope for continuing to make the investments which will be required in the future," says Torbjörn Wahlborg, who makes it clear that the decision to limit investments does not affect reactors 3 and 4, planning for which will remain as it stands.