The latest from WNA on fleet performance and fuel

September 8, 2021, 9:30AMNuclear News

Nuclear power plants around the world generated 2,553 TWh of electricity in 2020, a drop of 104 TWh from 2019’s total, according to World Nuclear Performance Report 2021. The report was released last week by the U.K.-based World Nuclear Association.

Nuclear generation declined in Africa, North America, and Western and Central Europe, rose in Asia (but by much less than in recent years), and remained largely unchanged in Eastern Europe, South America, and Russia, the 68-page report states.

Sama Bilbao y León, WNA director general, notes in the report’s preface that although the nearly 4 percent decline “would be an unequivocal disappointment” in any other year, “in 2020, with overall electricity demand falling by around 1 percent and nuclear reactors increasingly being called upon to provide load-following support to the increased share of variable renewable generation, the resilience and flexibility shown by the global nuclear fleet tell a very positive story.”

Westinghouse signs agreement to dismantle Ringhals-1 and -2 components

August 23, 2021, 7:01AMRadwaste Solutions
Vattenfall’s Christopher Eckerberg (left) and Aziz Dag of Westinghouse Electric Sweden AB sign the agreement for decommissioning of large radioactive components at Sweden’s Ringhals-1 and -2. (Photo: Vattenfall/John Guthed)

Westinghouse will segment and dispose of the reactor internals and pressure vessels at Sweden’s Ringhals-1 and Ringhals-2 under a deal announced last week with plant owner Vattenfall. Unit 2, a pressurized water reactor, and Unit 1, a boiling water reactor, were shut down in 2019 and 2020, respectively, after operating for more than 40 years.

Nuclear helps France reclaim title as Europe’s top net power exporter

July 27, 2021, 9:30AMNuclear News
The nuclear power plant of Dampierre-en-Burly, France. (Photo: Kresimir Bobovec)

France has overtaken Norway to regain its position as the biggest net exporter of power in Europe, according to a new report on the European electricity market by U.K.-based energy data services provider EnAppSys.

The report, which looked at the value of imports and exports in Europe during the first six months of 2021, found that France’s net exports totaled 21 TWh, with most of the power flowing to Great Britain (8.6 TWh) and Italy (7.2 TWh).

Aging management at Ringhals-3 has improved

September 21, 2020, 7:00AMNuclear News

A team of experts from the International Atomic Energy Agency have completed a review of the long-term operational safety of Unit 3 at Sweden’s Ringhals nuclear power plant, noting substantial improvements from a previous agency visit in 2018.

The review, which had been requested by the Swedish Radiation Safety Authority (SSM), the Nordic nation’s nuclear regulator, wrapped up September 18.

According to the IAEA, the Safety Aspects of Long Term Operation (SALTO) team focused on aspects essential to the safe long-term operation (LTO) of Unit 3—a 1,062-MWe three-loop pressurized water reactor that entered commercial operation in September 1981. (Ringhals houses two additional operating reactors: Unit 1, an 881-MWe boiling water reactor that began operation in January 1976, and Unit 4, an 1,102-MWe PWR that started up in November 1983. Another unit, Ringhals-2, was permanently shut down at the end of last year.)

The original design lifetime of Unit 3 will expire next year, but Vattenfall AB, the plant operator, is planning to extend operation for a total operational lifetime of 60 years.