Reinfeld open to new Swedish nuclear

11 January 2007

Sweden's new Prime Minister has said that he might advocate new nuclear in the country after 2010.

The leader of Sweden's new coalition government, Fredrik Reinfeldt, who was elected on October 6, made his comments in an interview with Sydsvenska Dagbladet, a Malmo-based newspaper.

After noting that nuclear power does not contribute significantly to climate change, Reinfeld said that in the foreseeable future many countries would be considering new nuclear plants and he "would not exclude" Sweden's participation. Furthermore, his policy agreements with his three coalition partners, and in particular his deputy Maud Olofsson of the Centerpartiet, expired in 2010 and beyond that point he might advocate new reactors in his country.

Reinfeld concluded: "As long as pressure to phase out coal and oil has to be increased, nuclear power has a role to play."

Sweden conducted a referendum in 1980 in which the public voted never to build a new nuclear power station but to allow the twelve existing reactors to live out a 25-year lifespan. However, since then nuclear power stations have been shown to have considerably longer economic lifespans of up to 60 years and no large scale low-carbon alternative has been developed. Sweden currently gets about half its electricity from nuclear, and about half from large hydroelectric dams.

For political reasons, two reactors have been shut down, Barseb├Ąck 1 and 2, but upgrades at the other three plants have added more nuclear generation capacity than has been lost.

Further information

WNA's Nuclear Energy in Sweden information paper