Sweden shut down Barsebäck second
May 31st 2005
Bo Bylund, Energy Negotiator of the Swedish Government, announced
Monday October 10th 2004 that negotiations between the Swedish Government
and nuclear power industry had ended up unsuccessful. According
to him, the parties did not trust enough each others will
and ability to fulfil a long-standing agreement.
Power companies Sydkraft, Vattenfall and Fortum regarded unfinished
negotiation unfortunate. They thought that achieving an agreement
would still be possible.
Less than an hour after Bylunds announcement the Swedish
Government, Center Party and the Left announced via Leif Pagrotsky,
Minister of Commerce, their unanimous decision to shut down the
second reactor of Barsebäck nuclear power plant next year.
Sweden has for long debated shutting down the second reactor of
Barsebäck nuclear power plant located in Southern Sweden. In
1980 the Swedish voted for giving up nuclear power. The parliament
decided to shut down both Barsebäcks reactors in 1997.
The first one was shut down in 1999, but closing down the second
reactor has been delayed. Next there is an intention to find out
chances of shutting down other reactors in Sweden as well.
The eleven operating reactors in Sweden produced 45.7% of the nations
electricity last year. In Finland 29.8% of electricity was produced
by nuclear power last year.
Huge investments in nuclear power plants
other nuclear power plants in Sweden are improving their efficiency
instead. According to Ny Teknik magazine (August 17th 2004)
Sweden increases nuclear power production 8 TWh per year by modernizing
plants. Production corresponds approximately to annual production
of a 1,000 MW nuclear power plant. The project is in line with the
trend of positive attitude towards nuclear power production that
has prevailed for several years in Sweden.
Since 1980 there have been several major decisions about energy
politics made in Sweden. However, they have not had an effect on
nuclear power. On the contrary, private and public nuclear power
industry have invested hundreds of millions euros in servicing and
repairing the operating reactors in addition to increasing their
span of life.
Energy company Fortum is going to invest over 600 million euros
in two Swedish power plants during next twelve years. Fortums
Managing Director, Mikael Lilius, says in an interview in Turun
Sanomat and Aamulehti that the investments are a possibility for
growth, in which the company wants to be involved in. Fortum owns
23% of Forsmark nuclear power plant and 43% of Oskarshamn plant.
The people support nuclear power
For the first time more Swedish prefer to maintain nuclear power
over the long haul than stop using it, informed Svenska Dagbladet
-newspaper. In a measurement made by SOM research institute
46% of the respondents were in favour of preserving nuclear power
and 34% rejected it. 15% are in favour of constructing new reactors.
In a survey made by Dagens Nyheter and Sifo the differences are
clearly sharper: 84% of supporters of Social Democrats want to preserve
the present power plants or even construct new ones. Swedish Coalition
Party favours nuclear power most: the power relations were 95-5.
In the survey altogether 80% of respondents supported nuclear power
and only 16% were for shutting down power plants. Especially the
Social Democrats are concerned about employment and welfare, in
case the power plants are to be closed down.
The Swedish Green Party has been most eager to get rid of nuclear
power as soon as possible. The Social Democratic government and
the Left were keen to negotiate decommissioning schedule with the
Simultaneously with closing down Barsebäck the Swedish are
planning to build a new cable connection between Olkiluoto and Forsmark.
Finland continuously exports electricity to Sweden with maximum
capacity of the network.