Ringhals NPP

Three steam generators and a pressure-holder for the Ringhals 4 NPP

In early May 2011, the German-flagged ship Condock 5 arrived to the Videbergshamn Harbour with its load of new built  nuclear components: three steam generators and a pressure-holder for the Ringhals 4 NPP. The components manufactured by the company ENSA, Santander, on Spain’s Atlantic coast.

Article is in Swedish:     http://www.vattenfall.se/sv/nyheter-elproduktion.htm?newsid=3D31ED7DC5F8418382D37DE39E4552A0


Location: On the Värö peninsula on the west coast of Sweden, ca 60 km south of Gothenburg in the municipality of Varberg. Coordinates: 57°15′35″N 12°6′39″E  

Operator: Ringhals AB, which is owned by Vattenfall (70,4 %) and E.ON Kärnkraft Sverige AB (29,6 %)[1] 

  • Capacity: total 3707 MW[2], R1: 855MW, R2: 866MW, R3: 1051MW, R4: 935MW[3]
  • (How much radiation it sets free?) Possible sources: http://www.vattenfall.se/sv/stralskydd.htm
  • Dates of construction & operation: Vattenfall started buying land on the Värö peninsula in 1965.[4]
    • Start of construction: R1: Feb 1969, R2: 1970, R3 and R4: 1972[5]
    • Start of commercial operation: R1: Jan 1976, R2: May 1975, R3: Sept 1981, R4: Nov 1983[6]
  • Electricity production: 28 TWh/year (almost 20 % of Sweden’s electricity consumption)[7]
  • type of reactor: One BWR (R1) and three PWR (R2, R3 and R4)[8]
  • (Sizes) Ringhals industrial area is ca 3 km²[9]
  • how much waste a reactor produces per year: (source about waste & management: http://www.vattenfall.se/sv/radioaktivt-avfall.htm , will investigate later -imota)
  • Fuel Information: LEU. Vattenfall buys uranium from Australia, Namibia, Canada, and Russia.[10]
  • Employees: 1529 (2010-12-31)[11] Several hundreds of extra subcontractor personnel during maintenance periods every summer.[12]
  • number of people living around the facility:
    • Varberg municipality: 57,747 (June 30, 2010)[13]



  • one of the largest employers in Halland county[14], and one of the largest worksites in Europe.[15]
  • “a considerable amount of research and development is also conducted here. Many of our engineers are specialists, and among the foremost in their field in the world. “[16]
  • A major project of modernisation and effectivisation started 2007, with a budget of 22 million SEK.[17]
  • Ringhals is the only NPP in Sweden with Pressurised Water Reactors (PWR). All of Ringhals’ PWRs (R2-4) have had recurring problems with corrosion and leakage in their steam generators, which throughout the years has necessitated numerous stops of operation, reparations and replacing of generators.[18] For dates of various renovations, cf. Vattenfall’s Ringhals timeline pdf (in swedish). (It could be argued that these problems are inherent to PWR technology, cf. Wikipedia: PWR Disadvantages)

Accidents & incidents

1974 – R2 is started, but due to a jellyfish-rich summer, there are problems with defunctioning pumps and jellyfish in the cooling water. The jellyfish collected from the filters end up in rotting piles on the asphalt. Newspapers describe it as “Nature’s own antinuclear movement”.[19]
1975 – Problems with turbines at R1 and with power generators at R2.
The switchgear suffers from salt disturbances.[20]
1976 – A sabotage attempt is discovered: someone has placed an explosive charge at the switchgear of Ringhals. The bomb is disarmed.
Problems with steam generators at R2.[21]
1977 – construction of R3 is finished but the startup is postponed because of a law that requires either a contract about reprocessing and storage of spent fuel or plans for safe storage of unreprocessed spent fuel.[22]
1978 – A big demonstration march against Ringhals NPP on August 26.[23]
1979 – A report states that there’s bedrock suitable for final disposal, and SKI (Sweden’s radiation safety institution) grants permission to start R3 on March 27. The next day, the Harrisburg accident happens in the US. It is decided to hold a referendum about nuclear power, and no new reactors are allowed to be started before the referendum.[24]
1980 – In the referendum, the two YES-lines get 58,1 % of the votes, against the 38,6 % of the NO-line. R3 is started July 29, and connected to the grid September 7th.[25]
1981 – Problems with the steam generators at R3 on October 20 result in a long outage for investigations and repair. The startup of R4 is postponed[26], and its steam generators are rebuilt before startup in 1982.[27]
1982 – MS Sigyn sails to Ringhals for the first time and is met by demonstrations. R4 is started on May 19 and connected to the grid on June 23.[28]
1986 – After the Chernobyl catastrophe on April 26, a big demostration marches from Bua to Videbergshamn close to Ringhals. Demonstrators put up crosses and a “grave of the anonymous nuclear sanitation worker” outside the industrial area. Some demonstrators refuse to leave from a turbin hall and are sentenced for illegal entry.[29]
1988 – Parliament decides on a plan for nuclear shutdown: one reactor is to be shut down in Barsebäck in 1995, and one in Ringhals in 1996. According to environmental minister Birgitta Dahl, the decision is irrecallable, but the decision is canceled 1991 in an agreement between the social democrats and the right and center parties.[30]
1999 – Ringhals becomes environmentally certified in accordance with ISO 14001 as well as registered in the EU’s Eco Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS).[31]
2000 – Barsebäck Kraft AB becomes a filial of Ringhals AB, and development of the cooperation is started.
The yearly production is lower than normal, due to a rainy year and technical problems at R1 and R4 which prolongs the yearly maintenance outages by months.[32]
2002 – Electricity from Ringhals becomes EPD-certified, which means that Ringhals is supposed to be able to report the environmental impact of every kWh.[33]
2006 – On November 14, there’s a fire in one local transformator of R3 (“no danger of radioactive leakage”).[34]
2007 – On August 21, R3 had a short-circuit in one of its steam generators due to a monkey-wrench that had been “forgotten”(?) inside it when the new steam generators were built in 1995 (the main construction contractor was Siemens/Framatome[35]). The generator was replaced within one month. [36]


contact details of critical groups working against this facility  

  • already listed on Oskarshamn NPP page


links to operator 

Operator: Swedish: http://www.vattenfall.se/sv/ringhals.htm English: http://www.vattenfall.com/en/ringhals.htm  


11     http://www.vattenfall.se/sv/om-ringhals.htm – February 17, 2011
14     http://www.vattenfall.se/sv/om-ringhals.htm – February 17, 2011
15     https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/sv/wiki/Ringhals (no primary source given) – February 17, 2011
18     https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/sv/wiki/Ringhals (no primary source given) – February 17, 2011