All forms of electricity production affect the environment in some way. Nuclear power comes off well from the environmental point of view in comparison with other techniques for producing electricity. This is true of the whole process, from uranium mining and fuel preparation to operation and waste management.
A modern nuclear power plant does not, for example, release any greenhouse gases or environmental pollutants. The downside is the radiation risk. Nuclear power is therefore supervised closely and the environmental requirements are strict.
Emissions supervised closely
Over the course of a year, the emissions from a nuclear power plant are not allowed to increase the radiation in the immediate surroundings by more than 0.1 mSv, which is 10 per cent of the natural radiation. The actual emissions from Ringhals are far lower, less than 1 per cent of the permitted value (less than the radiation you receive in an ordinary dental X-ray).
Radiation is easy to measure, and regular checks and measurements are carried out, for instance on animals and plants. The results are reported every month to the Swedish Radiation Safety Authority.
The environmental work at Ringhals
We give high priority to environmental issues, and our work is based on a comprehensive perspective with preventive activity. For example, the environmental work may relate to sorting waste at source and recycling as much material as possible.
Every year we carry out a review to see what needs to be improved in our environmental work.
Ringhals also imposes requirements on suppliers of goods and services concerning quality and environmentally issues.
Environmental certification at Ringhals
Since 2002, electricity supplies from Ringhals have possessed an EPD certificate (Environment Product Declaration). The EPD is no traditional eco-label, rather an environmental product declaration that specifies the environmental impact of each kilowatt-hour of electricity from Ringhals.
In 1998, Ringhals was certified in accordance with ISO 14001, the standard for environmental management.
In 1999, Ringhals was registered in accordance with EMAS (Eco Management and Audit Scheme). EMAS is the EU's voluntary environmental control and environmental audit decree, a set of rules to help companies manage their environmental work.
In 2006, Ringhals was certified in accordance with the international OHSAS 18001 standard (Occupational Health and Safety Assessment Series), the first Swedish nuclear power plant to receive this distinction.