Power firms stung by cost of nuclear shutdown

The shutdown of the nuclear reactors at Forsmark and Oskarshamn after an incident at Forsmark on July 25th has so far cost the plant owners 600 million kronor.

Following a blackout caused by a short circuit two of four backup diesel generators in the Forsmark 1 reactor failed to start automatically, revealing other faults in the power station’s electrical system.

Four reactors – two in Forsmark and two in Oskarshamn – were switched off for safety reasons.

The month-long stoppage has cost the Oskarshamn plant’s owners, EON and Fortum, around 300 million kronor.

The financial blow to Vattenfall Norden, which owns 66 percent of Forsmark, is around 265 million kronor so far. On top of that is another few million in lost income for other smaller owners.

How long it will be before the Swedish nuclear power inspectorate (SKI) approves Forsmark 1 and the other three reactors is still unclear.

First, SKI is investigating what happened at Forsmark 1 – described earlier in the week as the “country’s worst nuclear incident”. Then a decision will be made over what steps must be taken before the other reactors are switched back on.

SKI has demanded that the Oskarshamn plant demonstrates by September 6th that the same fault cannot happen there. The reactors will not come back online before then.