STOCKHOLM, March 24 (Xinhua) — A damaged nuclear reactor in Sweden that was supposed to be restarted on Sunday has suffered even more delays, Sweden’s Dagens Nyheter (DN) reported on Friday.
Ringhals 4 was originally scheduled to be reconnected to the energy system last November, following repairs to a pressure vessel that was damaged in August. The restart date was first moved back to January 2023, then to February 24, March 19, March 26 and most recently to April 1, DN reported.
As the restart began and pressure and temperature increased in the plant, a leak occurred in a valve, which, although “very small,” must be repaired before the plant restarts, the report said.
“Safety and stability always come first. We will not restart Ringhals 4 with known defects, not even a small one like this,” says Anna Collin, press manager at Ringhals.
“We will start producing electricity in the near future, but right now we need a few more days,” Collin said.
The operator of the Ringhals facility previously said it had taken longer than expected to obtain the tools needed for the repairs.
Due to the combined effects of the delay and the recent cold snap, electricity prices, which climbed to record highs in the past year, may remain volatile.
Nuclear power accounts for approximately 30 percent of the electricity produced in Sweden, according to the Radiation Safety Authority.
Following the decommissioning of four reactors between 2017 and 2020, six reactors are in operation at three sites.