Spent fuel is the most radioactive waste from Swedish nuclear power plants. In Sweden today, our central interim storage facilities are at CLAB in Oskarshamn. This is where all Swedish nuclear power plants send their spent fuel. In November 2006, the last of the fuel was removed from Barsebäck.
Some low and moderately radioactive waste remains at Barsebäck from its operational period. Solid waste is repacked into new containers for transportation to SFR, the final repository in Forsmark. We also have filter pulp that must be processed. The pulp will be solidified with concrete and stored in special containers before transportation to the final repository, SFR.
The demolition of Barsebäcksverket produces only a small portion of radioactive waste – estimated at about 6%. Before transportation to the final repository, it must be stored safely at our facilities. The reactors’ internal components are currently stored at a temporary port facility, where they will remain until we can move them to the final repository. Additional interim storage facilities for concrete and metal waste are required during the demolition phase.
Read more about how we process the waste from nuclear power plants
Metal components from reactor interiors are being stored in existing interim storage facilities. The components are segmented, well-packed and stored in steel tanks. This means that there are no loose radioactive particles that could leak out.
Emissions to air and water
A nuclear power plant is entitled to discharge a certain amount of radioactivity. When the plant was operational, our emissions were far below permissible levels and during the service operations phase, our emissions have been even lower. However, we will continue to control emissions to air and water, even in the course of the coming demolition.
To prepare for the demolition, we have performed a detailed mapping of the ground inside and outside the plant. We have searched for signs of radioactivity, radioactive substances and nonradioactive environmentally hazardous substances. The mapping has indicated that the identified contaminants do not presently entail any risk.
As with most other workplaces, there are accountants, human resources specialists, information officers and administrative staff. Other professions at a nuclear power plant include turbine operators, technicians, chemists and plant engineers. Different professions at a nuclear power plant will require different educational backgrounds, but many of them require, for example, technical college, a BSc or MSc in Engineering. Working with any specialization in the field of nuclear power, such as radiological protection, often entails further education at the nuclear power plant where one is employed.
From a health perspective, it would have been fine to swim in the pools, but our rules for radiological protection prohibit this, as the water could have small amounts of radioactivity. Furthermore, we endeavor to avoid polluting the pools in any way, which makes swimming in them a bad idea.
Our eyes perceive the water to be blue. Light namely consists of electromagnetic waves. Different colors have different wavelengths and the spectrum of light with the shortest wavelengths travel best through water. Since blue light has among the shortest wavelengths, the water appears blue. The water is very clean, which accentuates the effect.
In total, it cost about SEK 2 billion to build Barsebäck in 1977 values. An additional SEK 800 million was spent to build, among other things, filtration facilities.
It will cost about SEK 4,700 million demolish the plant in its entirety, but after factoring in the uncertainties, a total of SEK 5,700 million is expected to be withdrawn from the Swedish Nuclear Waste Fund.
At most, about 300 people will be engaged at any given time.
It was decommissioned due to a political decision, when the Social Democrats, Left Party and Center Party reached a settlement on the national energy policy.
No, it is impossible. At Barsebäck, we are working to prepare for a safe, quick and cost-efficient demolition.
In 1999, when both blocks were operational, there were about 450 employees at Barsebäck Kraft AB. In addition, there were also extra outsourced personnel. In the summer, during periods of maintenance outages, there could be as many as 1,000 extra employees. The number of employees has gradually declined and in 2019, there was just over 50 people employed by Barsebäck Kraft AB. If we include personnel sourced from other companies, about 120 individuals have their daily workplace at Barsebäcksverket.
During its operation, 50 m3 of seawater per second passed through the plant as cooling water, to be warmed by 10–12°C. This rapid remix of waters caused some minor impact to the environment in the sea nearby. On the other hand, some cold-water species, such as cod, shunned the warm cooling water, while other species, such as eels, thrived in the warmer water. This temperature effect is now completely absent. There was epiphytic growth on the seabed when the plant was operational, but this impact has also completely disappeared.
There were six to seven people working in every control room, i.e., a total of 12 to 14 people, when both blocks were operational. The control rooms have not been assigned round-the-clock personnel for quite some time. Instead, the plant is monitored by a centralized monitoring facility with specially trained personnel who are present at all hours of the day.
In total, Barsebäcksverket has produced more than 200 TWh of electricity, of which Barsebäck 1 produced 93.8 TWh and Barsebäck 2, 108 TWh. For the whole of 2017, Sweden consumed a total of 141 TWh of electricity.
Find out more
Information about how we process waste from the demolition of Barsebäcksverket.
Here is some information about Barsebäck’s environmental permits and certifications for the environment, and occupational health and safety.
Facts and technical data relating to Barsebäcksverket’s two decommissioned reactors.