Located in Scandinavia, the power plant is equipped to generate about 28 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity, which represents approximately one fifth of total electrical energy consumption in the country.

The investment, which will see upgrade of Ringhals 3 and 4 units with independent core cooling, will allow the facility to continue to supply electricity into the 2040s.

Vattenfall Generation head Torbjörn Wahlborg said: "The investment comes at a time when essential measures are being taken to increase efficiency in order to meet the tough competition on the electricity market.”

Vattenfall made the decision to upgrade the units to meet the requirement set by the Swedish Radiation Safety Authority to continue operations at the Ringhals power plant beyond 2020.

Wahlborg added: “With the decision to upgrade Ringhals 3 and 4 with independent core cooling, we are adding a further safety system to plants that are already safe, and we can now plan for continued operation for the coming decades.”

Meanwhile, the operational life of the unit 1 and 865MW unit 2 at the Ringhals nuclear facility has also been extended by up to six months, Vattenfall said.

The extension will see unit 1 and unit 2 operating from June to December in 2020 and 2019 respectively.

Ringhals CEO Björn Linde said: "By extending the operating period by up to six months, we can utilize the nuclear fuel we have already bought for fossil-free electricity generation instead of putting it straight into the planned final repository.

“The extension is profitable for Ringhals, for Swedish electricity generation and for the climate.”

Image: The Ringhals nuclear power plant in Sweden. Photo: courtesy of User Tubaist on sv.wikipedia.