Swedish units still have up to 38 years life

28 November 2007

[The Local, 27 November] The Swedish Energy Agency has estimated that the country's nuclear power reactors have an average life span of 60 years, so the youngest reactor could potentially continue operating for a further 38 more years. The agency made the statement in a report prepared for the parliamentary working committee on climate change, which is due to meet today to discuss the future of nuclear energy in Sweden. According to a report in the Svenska Dagbladet newpaper, the agency's report states that Swedish reactors do not need to be taken out of operation "until between 2032 and 2045." Claes Vasterteg, a Centre Party member of the committee, told the newspaper, "We have to trust the report handed to us by the agency experts." Sweden has ten operating nuclear power units, generating up to half its electricity. The country 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 and no large scale low-carbon alternative has been developed. For political reasons, two reactors have been shut down, Barseback 1 and 2, but upgrades at the other three plants have added more nuclear generation capacity than has been lost.

Further information

Swedish Energy Agency

WNA's Nuclear Energy in Sweden information paper