Swedish reactor unexpectedly shuts down after turbine fault

STOCKHOLM (AP) — A reactor at a nuclear plant in southern Sweden shut down unexpectedly Wednesday after suffering a fault in its turbine, Swedish broadcaster SVT said.

“Oskarshamn’s reactor 3 is disconnected from the power grid due to a turbine shutdown. Troubleshooting is in progress,” plant spokesperson Désirée Liljevall told SVT.

No radiation leaks or other potential hazards were reported. The outage comes at a critical time, however, as soaring energy prices and supply problems have European countries scrambling to ensure they have enough power for the coming winter.

Nord Pool, a pan-European power exchange, said it was unknown how long the Swedish reactor would be stopped and “more information will follow within 24 hours.”

Plant operator, OKG said on its website that the reactor is one of the world’s largest boiling water reactors. Construction of the plant began in 1980 and the start-up took place five years later.

The Oskarshamn plant initially had three reactors, but two were permanently shut down. It normally has an output of 1,400 megawatts.

Sweden, a country of about 10 million, has two other nuclear power plants: one at Forsmark north of Stockholm and another at Ringhals south of Goteborg.

Earlier this year, the restart of one of the two reactors at the Ringhals plant was postponed to Jan. 31 due to maintenance.

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