• Sweden's news in English

Agency reacts to nuke plant safety lapses

TT/The Local · 7 Jul 2009, 18:29

Published: 07 Jul 2009 18:29 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

A new report by the Radiation Safety Authority (Strålsäkerhetsmyndigheten – SSM) reveals a number of incidents have occurred at the Ringhals nuclear plant in western Sweden, two of which are considered extremely serious.

The latest Category One incident, a classification reserved for the most serious breaches, occurred when an automatic safety mechanism failed to function following the activation of Ringhals’s reactor one in January.

The problem was discovered when the reactor was turned off for an audit in March.

“It’s a function which automatically shuts valves and the like so that radioactive material can’t leave the encasement in the case of an accident, if a pipe bursts, for example. There is also a manual system for that, but if you have an automatic system it should obviously be activated,” said SSM spokesperson Mattias Sköld to the TT news agency.

In late 2008, there was another Category One incident at Ringhals involving the control rods in a reactor.

The rods are used to regulate the activity in a reactor and can also be used to shut activity down quickly.

In all, there have been 60 reported Category One and Two events or security incidents at Ringhals during 2009.

A decision on whether to implement special supervision of the plant is made by the head of Sweden’s radiation agency and is a rarely used measure in its attempt to ensure the safe operation of the country’s nuclear power plants.

“The only case I’m aware of in the history of Swedish nuclear power is Forsmark, where special supervision was stopped a few months ago,” said Sköld.

“Special supervision means that SSM places puts higher demands on audits and investigations so that all types of safety measures are strengthened.”

However the agency stops short of taking over operation and management of the plant.

A final decision on the special supervision of Ringhals will likely be announced in conjunction with SSM’s decision to grant permission to restart reactor one at the plant, which is expected shortly.

Story continues below…

But the special supervision would cover the entire plant, not just reactor one.

There have also been several cases in which Ringhals employees have been found to have alcohol or drugs in their blood, although such incidents are not classified by SSM as safety incidents

“Formally, that isn’t something we check. But it’s obviously a part of the general guidelines that people remain sober,” said Sköld.

TT/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

06:11 July 8, 2009 by Marley420
Oh, ok, that explains that half fish half frog with razor sharp teeth walking around downstream from this nuke plant preying on small dogs.
Today's headlines
Presented by Invest Stockholm
One expat's strategy for making friends in Stockholm

You might think it’s hard to make friends in a new city. But if at first you don’t succeed – try something else!

Injured Swedish photographer protected by 'guardian angel'
Swedish photographer Paul Hansen on another occasion. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT

Photographer Paul Hansen thanked his lucky stars for surviving sniper fire while covering the battle for the Isis-held city of Mosul in Iraq.

How Sweden is trying to smooth relations with Saudis
Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven meeting Saudi Arabia's Trade Minister Majid bin Abdullah Al Qasabi. Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT

Sweden's Prime Minister Stefan Löfven has visited Saudi Arabia a year and a half after relations turned frosty in a major diplomatic row.

My Swedish Career
'Swedish people love it, but they find it quite odd'
Scottish entrepreneur William Macdonald. Photo: Michael Campanella

Meet the web developer and entrepreneur using traditional Scottish ceilidh dancing to break the ice with Swedes.

Swedish photographer shot near Mosul
Hansen was being operated on in the Iraqi city of Erbil on Sunday. Photo: Nora Lorek/ TT

Paul Hansen, a photographer working for Swedish daily Dagens Nyheter, has sustained light injuries after being hit by what appears to be a sniper while covering the battle for the Isis-held city of Mosul in Iraq.

Trollhättan remembers school attack victims
'It was an attack on all of Sweden,' Education Minister Gustav Fridolin said. Photo: Thomas Johansson/ TT

Hundreds of people on Saturday turned out for a torchlight procession in the small town of Trollhättan in southwestern Sweden to honour the victims of last year’s deadly school attack there.

Sweden wants emission- free cars in EU by 2030
Photo: Jessica Gow/ TT

Sweden's environment minister on Saturday urged the European Union to ban petrol and diesel-powered vehicles from 2030.

Hundreds protest Swedish asylum laws
Around 1,000 people protested in Stockholm. Photo: Fredrik Persson/ TT

Hundreds of people on Saturday demonstrated in Stockholm and in many other parts of the country to protest Sweden’s tough new laws on asylum-seekers.

Swedish terror suspect ‘planned airport attack’
Swedish terror suspect Osama Krayem. Photo: Facebook

Swedish national Osama Krayem, linked to the deadly attacks in Paris on November 13 and in Brussels on March 22, is now suspected of having plotted to attack also the Schiphol airport in the Netherlands.

Dylan removes Nobel-mention from website
The American musician has more or less responded to the news with silence. Photo: Per Wahlberg

American singer-song writer Bob Dylan has removed any mention of him being named one of this year’s Nobel Prize laureates on his official website.

Sponsored Article
This is Malmö: Football capital of Sweden
People-watching: October 21st-23rd
Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
Fury at plans that 'threaten the IB's survival' in Sweden
Analysis & Opinion
Are we just going to let half the country die?
Blog updates

6 October

10 useful hjälpverb (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hej! I think the so-called “hjalpverb” (auxiliary verbs in English) are a good way to get…" READ »


8 July

Editor’s blog, July 8th (The Local Sweden) »

"Hej readers, It has, as always, been a bizarre, serious and hilarious week in Sweden. You…" READ »

Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
Angry elk chases Swede up a lamp post
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
The Local Voices
'Alienation in Sweden feels better: I find myself a stranger among scores of aliens'
People-watching: October 20th
The Local Voices
A layover at Qatar airport brought this Swedish-Kenyan couple together - now they're heading for marriage
Sponsored Article
Swedish for programmers: 'It changed my life'
Swede punches clown that scared his grandmother
Sponsored Article
Top 7 tips to help you learn Swedish
Fans throw flares and enter pitch in Swedish football riot
Could Swedish blood test solve 'Making a Murderer'?
Sponsored Article
‘Extremism can't be defeated on the battlefield alone’
Property of the week: Linnéstaden, Gothenburg
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
Swedish school to build gender neutral changing room
People-watching: October 14th-16th
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
Man in Sweden assaulted by clowns with broken bottle
Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
Nobel Prize 2016: Literature
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Watch the man who discovered Bob Dylan react to his Nobel Prize win
Record numbers emigrating from Sweden
People-watching: October 12th
The Local Voices
'Swedish startups should embrace newcomers' talents - there's nothing to fear'
How far right are the Sweden Democrats?
Property of the week: Triangeln, Malmö
Sweden unveils Europe's first elk hut
People-watching: October 7th-9th
The Local Voices
Syria's White Helmets: The Nobel Peace Prize would have meant a lot, but pulling a child from rubble is the greatest reward
Missing rune stone turns up in Sweden
Nobel Prize 2016: Chemistry
jobs available