Forsmark reactor barred from restarting

The Swedish Nuclear Power Inspectorate has denied permission for reactor 2 at the Forsmark nuclear power station to restart, and has ordered an inspection of reactor 3 at the same plant.

The decision to keep Forsmark 2 shut down will stay in force until the plant’s operators, Forsmarks Kärnkraftsgrupp, have evaluated information from tests taken from the reactor.

Forsmark 1 was shut down earlier this month after a sample taken from one of three rubber pannels in the reactor’s outer housing was found to have lost its required elasticity.

The incident was classed as a category one event, meaning that the reactor could not be restarted without permission from the Swedish Nuclear Power Inspectorate (SKI). A special inspection group was sent to Forsmark to investigate the incident, and assess the way the plant’s management had handled events.

The inspectors’ report is now complete, and shows that the incident did not increase the risk of an accident, but says that it could have affected the rubber panel’s ability to handle an accident.

The incident shows failures in Forsmark’s control and testing routines, SKI said. It therefore demanded that the company investigate documentation of tests and maintenance procedures at the reactors.

It therefore decided that Forsmark 2 may not restart until this investigation is complete. A similar investigation of Forsmark 3 must be carried out and a report delivered to SKI no later than 28th February.