Sweden Seeks to Expand Nuclear Power Significantly

Sweden Seeks to Expand Nuclear Power Significantly

The Swedish government considers nuclear power to be a crucial building block on the way to a more climate-friendly future. The climate transition with the electrification of industry and transport requires a doubling of electricity production and nuclear power must account for a large proportion of this increase, said Climate and Environment Minister Romina Pourmokhtari.

By 2045, nuclear power must be built that is at least equivalent to the output of ten new conventional reactors. The government is working at full speed to remove the hurdles that have so far stood in the way of new nuclear power in the country.

Three nuclear power plants with a total of six reactors are currently in operation in Sweden, three of them at the Forsmark site, two at Oskarshamn and one at the Ringhals power plant. Together they make up about 30 percent of Sweden’s electricity generation. Before taking office in the autumn of 2022, the conservative government and its right-wing populist support party, the Sweden Democrats, had agreed to expand nuclear power.

Legally, however, environmental laws have so far stipulated that a maximum of ten nuclear reactors may be in operation in Sweden at the same time and that no new reactors may be built outside of Forsmark, Oskarshamn and Ringhals. This stands in the way of a modern view of nuclear energy, Pourmokhtari said.

Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson had already announced at the beginning of the year that he wanted to allow the construction of new nuclear power plants at more locations. In the fall, the government now wants to present a roadmap for the strong expansion of nuclear power, as Pourmokhtari announced.

Critics consider nuclear power to be a risky technology and also point to the unsolved problem of the final disposal of nuclear waste. In Germany, the last three nuclear power plants were therefore shut down in the spring. Other countries, on the other hand, are increasingly relying on this technology – also to achieve climate protection goals.

Image by Wikimedia/Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

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