"Serious incidents" at nuclear power plant

Sweden | 2009-07-08

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Ringhals. Photo: Wikimedia

Two serious incidents at the nuclear power plant in Ringhals in south Sweden have made the responsible authority to consider putting Ringhals under “special supervision”.

A category one incident is the most serious level. Two such incidents have been reported during this year. Almost sixty incidents of the less serious kind, category two, have also been reported.

One of the category one incidents was a failure in an automatic system that would close valves in case of a broken pipe or similar. The failed system is meant to prevent radioactive material to get out. There is also a manual reserve system.

Göran Larsson, communication chief at Ringhals says to SvD :

-This is obviously not good for Ringhals but many of the reported category two incidents are minor, for example incidents like a pump that didn’t start on the first attempt.

Another power plant, Forsmark north of Stockholm, was under special supervision from the summer of 2006 to April this year. It is the Swedish Radiation Safety Authority (SSM) that decides to put a power plant under special supervision which means higher requirements on investigations and reports but not that the authority takes over any operative functions.

At the same time, more people than ever want to keep the nuclear power as a major energy source. Fifty-one percent says that the existing reactors shall be renewed when their technical ‘life time’ expire or that even more reactors shall be built. This is shown in an opinion poll from SOM performed by Gothenburg University.


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