Swedish nuclear reactor to be taken off-grid for repairs

STOCKHOLM, Nov. 28 (Xinhua) -- The largest nuclear reactor in Sweden will be taken off-grid next week for repairs, as electricity prices soar during the winter season.

Reactor 3 at the Oskarshamn nuclear power plant in the southeast of the country will be disconnected on Dec. 9, Sweden's nuclear power operator OKG said on Monday. A faulty generator can then be repaired, it explained.

The reactor is expected to be closed for nine days until Dec. 18.

With a maximum output of 1,450 megawatts (MW), Oskarshamn 3 is one of the largest Boiling Water Reactors (BWR) in the world.

According to the Swedish Radiation Safety Authority, several nuclear reactors were decommissioned during 2017-2020, widening the gap in electricity prices between different regions. Recently, prices in the south peaked at close to eight Swedish crowns (about 76 U.S. cents).

Statistics Sweden's figure shows that electricity prices increased by an average of 25.6 percent in October compared to the same month last year.

Magnus Genrup, head of the Department of Energy Sciences at Lund University, told Dagens Nyheter (DN) newspaper on Monday that the planned stoppage of the reactor exposes the vulnerability of the Swedish energy system.

"This shows that we have no margins anymore, and that is serious," he said.

At the end of August, OKG announced that another reactor, Ringhals 4 in the southwest of the country, would be inoperable for months due to a damaged pressure vessel. It said later that the stoppage of the reactor, which has an output of 1,130 MW, is expected to last until Jan. 31.

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