“New reactors will be built in Sweden,” said Ebba Busch, whose Christian Democrat party belongs to an alliance that won the most seats in last month’s general election. The right-wing bloc is scheduled to become the Nordic nation’s next government in a parliamentary vote next week.
Sweden now joins other countries in Europe that are turning to nuclear power in response to record high energy prices and fears over the security of key infrastructure.
Swedes have debated nuclear power for decades, but the energy source has garnered popular support recently amid the ongoing power crunch.
A survey earlier this year suggested support for the use of nuclear power in Sweden is at record levels with 56% saying they support the construction of new reactors if needed.
More than eight out of 10, or 84%, want to continue to use nuclear power or, if needed, build more reactors, while only one out of 10 want to close nuclear power “through political decisions”.
Vattenfall Also Planning For SMRs
In June, Vattenfall said it will be starting work on a pilot study on the feasibility of deployment of at least two small modular reactor (SMR) units at the site of the Ringhals nuclear power station.
The company also said it plans to invest about $215m (€220m) in its nuclear operations in Sweden to ensure plants remain well-equipped to supply 2stable and safe baseload power well into the future”.
Sweden has six commercial nuclear power units in operation at three sites: Forsmark, Oskarshamn and Ringhals. According to International Atomic Energy Agency data, nuclear energy provided about a third of the country’s electricity generation in 2021.
Vattenfall is majority owner of three operational reactors at Forsmark and two at Ringhals. Sweden’s other operational nuclear unit is Oskarshamn-3, owned by OKG.
Plans And Construction Around The World
According to the IAEA about 30 countries including Poland, Ghana, Kenya, the Philippines and Indonesia are considering, planning for or introducing nuclear power for the first time.
Countries including Belarus, Iran, Romania, the Czech Republic, France, the UK and South Africa are planning to add to their existing fleets.
Construction programmes are underway in countries including China, Russia, India, Bangladesh Turkey and Egypt.
Japan wants to restart reactors to avert a power crunch ahead of the winter and China has approved four new reactors at two new nuclear power stations in the south of the country. California decided in early September to extend the life of its last operating nuclear plant and days later Germany put its plants on standby to keep running if needed beyond the end of this year.