Sweden Facing Electricity Shortages as Its Largest Nuclear Power Plant Forced to Close

© AP Photo / TT News Agency, Mikael FritzonAn exterior view of the Oskarshamn nuclear power plant in Oskarshamn, southeastern Sweden (File)
An exterior view of the Oskarshamn nuclear power plant in Oskarshamn, southeastern Sweden (File) - Sputnik International, 1920, 11.02.2022
The temporary shutdown of the Oskarshamn power plant, previously described as a worst-case scenario, will result in a loss of power so substantial that Sweden may become more dependent on imports and face higher electricity prices.
Oskarshamn 3, Sweden's largest electricity producer, has been temporarily taken out of production due to fuel damage.
According to the OKG corporation, which runs the nuclear power plant, the damage doesn't pose any risks to people or the environment.
“We estimate that the reactor will be out of production for nine days until 27 February”, OKG communications manager Désirée Liljevall told national broadcaster SVT.
Oskarshamn 3 is Sweden's most powerful nuclear reactor. It has been supplying 1,450 MW since 2012, which is more power than the two decommissioned reactors, O1 and O2, generated together. This winter, R3, one of reactors at the Ringhals nuclear power plant, also experienced problems and had to be stopped several times.
The temporary shutdown of Oskarshamn has been described as a worst-case scenario as no other single problem in the entire Swedish grid could have resulted in such a substantial loss of power.

This means that Sweden will become more dependent on imports and the risk of high electricity prices increases.
Among other things, the transmission capacity in the network will have to be reduced to assure emergency preparedness if anything else fails. The consequences for the electricity system now depend on the weather and the outside world. Sweden's entire grid has become more sensitive to cold days and days without wind, which can be felt in a price hike.

“Yes, that's how it is. When large electricity production disappears in southern Sweden and we reduce transmission capacity, we become twice as dependent on imports,” Patrik Svensson of the Swedish power system operator Svenska Kraftnät told SVT.

Oskarshamn 3 is one of Sweden's six nuclear reactors in operation on three power plants, producing up to 30 percent of the country's electricity. Like in many European countries, there is a strong political movement for the shutdown of nuclear power in Sweden.
Earlier this year, Sweden announced it had earmarked some SEK 6 billion ($640 million) for the most affected households across the Scandinavian country to cope with high electricity bills that soared over 266 percent at some point this winter.
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