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Fire shuts down Swedish nuclear reactor

TT/The Local/gm · 23 Oct 2011, 11:11

Published: 23 Oct 2011 11:11 GMT+02:00

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Although the fire, which broke out in the turbine hall of Unit 2, was quickly put out by the plant’s own emergency services, the reactor and the turbine were closed down as a precautionary measure.

It is still unclear when the reactor 2 can be restarted again, with investigations ongoing.

“Fires are always serious in this type of facility, but this happened in the conventional turbine hall, which is the same type as all other kinds of power plants, and not in the reactor itself. We need to analyse what caused the fire before we make any commitment to start the installation, but I assume that it should not be too long, because this was a relatively minor incident,” Anders Österberg, Director of Communications at OKG (Oskarshamnsverkets Kraftgrupp, which runs the facility), told TT.

Unit 2 was restarted this week following its annual maintenance check, though the company said it is too early to speculate over whether the two incidents are connected in any way.

“It is true that we've had trouble with vibrations in the turbine hall, but we do not know if it had anything to do with this incident. We hope to be able to answer that tomorrow, ” added Österberg.

Story continues below…

The Oskarshamn nuclear plant is on Sweden's South West coast, some 30 kilometres north of Oskarshamn. Co-owned by E.ON Sverige and Fortum, its three reactors produce around 10 percent of the country's electricity supply.

TT/The Local/gm (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

12:58 October 23, 2011 by Addendum
How will this affect electricity prices?
16:50 October 23, 2011 by jgmouton
Sweden should think to its children and do like the Germans.
19:05 October 23, 2011 by Grokh
good sign to start thinking about getting rid of it.
20:35 October 23, 2011 by Sebastian_R
Carry on everyone - nothing to see here. Nuclear power is safe and there is nothing to be afraid of. Fukushima didn't happen and Tschernobyl is known for it's untouched nature.

Come on people, move on. Don't discuss this. Nothing happened and there is nothing to see here.
20:46 October 23, 2011 by Gordy
"The Oskarshamn nuclear plant is on Sweden's South West coast"

01:42 October 24, 2011 by Sebastian_R
After a second read I must compliment the Local on this article: It's a beautiful example of playing down the critical elements of the incident. The article quotes:

"Fires are always serious in this type of facility, but this happened in the conventional turbine hall, which is the same type as all other kinds of power plants, and not in the reactor itself"

If this graph here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Boiling_water_reactor_english.svg shows this reactor type correctly, then a burning turbine is a huge deal: If the boiling water circulation is not kept going, the cooling of the main reactor is at stake. What happens if the main reactor cooling breaks down (and the alternate cooling, too) can be seen first hand in Fukushima. So this is a good deal more than just a coal plant having some turbine trouble.
12:48 October 24, 2011 by conboy
In Sweden all nuclear power technology is operated by skilled professionals who never make mistages so basically everything will be grand.....
18:56 October 24, 2011 by Bender B Rodriquez
@Sebastian: The turbine is not vital for cooling and can simply be by-passed.
23:18 October 24, 2011 by Harold Johnson
Turbines run on steam. How do you get steam to burn?
15:57 October 25, 2011 by AstroSphinx.se
if you take a look we nearly had a Fukushima here back in 2006.

"Bristerna, tystnaden och myndigheten."


It takes a while to download, but I got a copy of it and its makes for extremely interesting reading. 2 of 4 generators to provide the plant with back up power failed. There was no flood, there was no earthquake there was no tsunami, just failure of "safety systems"

But its all safe, right? However even people within the industry disagree especially with the work culture that promotes silence and conspires together to keep hazards to the public secret so much so most still have no concerns about nuclear energy.
18:42 October 28, 2011 by Imperor
Sweden has got the most Nuclear reactors per capita in the world, we have also had the highest amount of errors and interruptions/reactor in the world, for decades.

Nuclear power MIGHT be a valid source, but it has to be done right and then it's really expensive! Most nuclear accidents don't happen in actual reactors though but in end-storage. These are mostly swept under the rug though and never heard of. (Mayak was as bad as Tjernobyl or Fukushima, ever heard of it?)

Far from a complete list: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_civilian_nuclear_accidents
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