UNITED PRESS INTERNATIONAL, August 1, 2006
The nuclear complex at Forsmark, Sweden
FORSMARK, Sweden, Aug. 1 (UPI) — Last week’s shutdown of the Forsmark nuclear power plant in Sweden, north of Stockholm, reportedly could have resulted in a meltdown.
The emergency — called by some the most dangerous international nuclear incident since the destruction of the Russian Chernobyl plant 20 year ago — occurred when two of four generators shut down, officials said.
“It was pure luck that there was not a meltdown,” nuclear expert and former Forsmark director Lars-Olov Höglund told The Local. “Since the electricity supply from the network didn’t work as it should have, it could have been a catastrophe.”
He said without power, the temperature would have been too high after 30 minutes and within two hours there could have been a meltdown.
Ingvar Berglund, head of safety at Forsmark, disagreed. He told The Local there wasn’t a risk of a Chernobyl-like accident.
“We know exactly what happened and it was an incident that could have been serious … but that it could have been the most serious incident since the nuclear power incident at Chernobyl is totally wrong,” he said.
Forsmark went into operation in 1980 and now supplies one-sixth of Sweden’s electricity.