Barsebäck reactor vessel dismantled

06 December 2021

The consortium of Nukem Technologies and Uniper Anlagenservice has completed cutting up the pressure vessel of the Barsebäck 1 reactor in Sweden. The applied two-stage thermal cutting technique would be refined and used on Barsebäck 2 as well as Oskarshamn 1 and 2.

Nukem's thermal cutting rig on the top of the pressure vessel (Image: Nukem)

Proving the efficiency of thermal cutting technology for dismantling reactor pressure vessels was an "important milestone" for Nukem, said Managing Director Sergey Molodtsov.

Barsebäck 1's cylindrical pressure vessel was thermally cut into 13 rings between 0.9 and 1.8 metres high, which Nukem referred to as 'barrel shells'. One by one these were removed to another area to be cut into "more manageable chunks" and packaged for disposal. In total 430 tons of steel were dismantled, said Nukem.

The same technique will be used at Barsebäck 2 as well as Oskarshamn 1 and 2. "During the last 13 months, the equipment has been constantly optimised so that the other three reactor pressure vessels can be dismantled even more efficiently and safely," said Nukem.

Nukem is based in Germany, but owned by the Russian state nuclear company Rosatom. It celebrated its first dismantling of a boiling water reactor, a technology not used in Russia. The work was carried out by the UNNU consortium which Nukem launched with Uniper Anlagenservice, a decommissioning subsidiary of the utility Uniper which owns Barsebäck.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News