John Guthed Photography

Decommissioning projects within Vattenfall, in Sweden


attenfall, fully owned by the Swedish state, is one of Europe’s largest energy companies with 19 000 employees and more than 7 million electricity customers. Also, the Vattenfall Group is Sweden´s largest producer of nuclear power ( As such, it is important for Vattenfall that the nuclear plants can be handled throughout their entire life cycle, from construction through operation to decommissioning and final storage. Decommissioning is an important piece of the puzzle and Vattenfall has established a specialized decommissioning unit with the vision to being leaders in safe, cost-efficient, and sustainable decommissioning. Most important is safety – to ensure that dismantling and decommissioning is safe for employees, others, and the environment – through working methods and technology. Regarding cost-effectiveness, the most important factor is to work safely, and other factors are to use experience from previous decommissioning projects, to strive for simple, smart solutions and to purchase services in competition. Sustainability is taken into account through reuse and recycle of non-contaminated and free-released materials where this practicable and by the appropriate management of radioactive and other hazardous material such as asbestos and PCBs.

An important task for the decommissioning projects is to separate the radioactive waste from the non-radioactive, pack it in safe containers and store it in tailor-made interim storages for low- and intermediate level waste. The producer of the waste, in general the licensee of the plant, is responsible for the waste until it is placed in the final repositories.

The high level spent fuel from all NPPs in Sweden is currently stored in the central interim storage for spent fuel, Clab. This is located outside the city of Oskarshamn in the south of Sweden. A year ago, after 40 years of research, the Swedish government granted a permission to build the final repository for spent fuel.

The future use of the site is of course an important factor affecting the end state. Determining the planned future use is often a complex decision which may need to take into account wider political, regional and corporate considerations. Vattenfalls´ primary objective in decommissioning is to leave a site that is cleared from radioactive contamination.

Vattenfall is currently decommissioning three NPP reactors and one research facility in Sweden, and two NPPs in Germany:

  • Decommissioning of the research facility R2 in Studsvik, “Reactor 2” (Sweden)
  • Decommissioning of the Ågesta NPP, “Reactor 3” (Sweden)
  • Decommissioning of the Ringhals 1 and 2 NPPs (Sweden)
  • Brunsbüttel NPP(Germany)
  • Krümmel NPP (Germany)
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