Nuclear Power

14 Dec 2020

Forsmark Unit 1 Celebrates 40 Years of Operation

14 Dec 2020  by World Nuclear News   

Vattenfall yesterday celebrated the 40th anniversary of the start of commercial operation of unit 1 at the Forsmark nuclear power plant. The Swedish utility is marking the occasion with an exhibition of photographs from the unit's construction period and its first year of operation.

Construction of unit 1 at the Forsmark plant (Image: Göran Hansson / Vattenfall)

Construction work on the 900 MWe boiling water reactor (BWR) began in October 1971. Once completed, Forsmark 1 achieved first criticality on 23 April 1980 and was connected to the grid on 6 June 1980. It entered commercial operation on 10 December 1980. Since then, the unit has been uprated to 990 MWe and has supplied a total of about 280 TWh of electricity.

A worker at the Forsmark 1 construction site (Image: Göran Hansson / Vattenfall)

Two further BWRs have since been built at Forsmark, with unit 2 entering commercial operation in July 1981 and unit 3 following in August 1985.

"If you stop and think about it, it is quite fantastic what has been achieved here in northern Uppland, by people with different backgrounds and knowledge," said Forsmark CEO Björn Linde. "All Forsmarkers, both today's employees and all those who have been involved and contributed in various ways during the construction period and the 40 years we have produced fossil-free electricity, have every reason to be proud."

An operator at Forsmark 1 during its first year of operation (Image: Göran Hansson / Vattenfall)

Although Swedish reactor operating licences are not time limited, consent to operate is subject to a periodic safety review submitted to the Swedish Radiation Safety Authority (SSM) every 10 years. In June 2019, SSM said Forsmark units 1 and 2 can be operated safely for a further 10 years, until 2028, taking them beyond their initial 40-year planned operation.

"We will continue to be an important part of the Swedish electricity supply for a long time to come, which is important given the electrification that is taking place in both industry and the transport sector," Linde said.

Vattenfall is marking Forsmark 1's 40th anniversary with an exhibition of photographs by nature photographer Göran Hansson, who has followed the development of Forsmark plant for many years. Göran was hired in November 1973 to document the Forsmark plant's construction from start to finish. The photos in the exhibition cover the construction period of the unit, as well as its first year of operation. The exhibition will be shown at Forsmark and later at Östhammar's main library, between 22 December and 16 January.

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