Phase out of Swedish Nuclear Power?

Mr Bylund, the government’s negotiator for nuclear phase out in Sweden announced yesterday that the negotiations are aborted. According to him it has been impossible for the utilities and the government to reach an agreement, something that the utilities express surprise about. The negotiations have been hard and some essential questions have not been solved. Comments made by both sides point out that issues regarding long-term regulations of such an agreement have been one cornerstone that has not be resolved. Mr Bylund also mentioned in his press conference that the government could use the “Decommissioning Law” to close Barsebäck-2.

Less than one hour after the end of Mr Bylund’s press conference the turn went to Mr Pagrotsky, Minister of Industry and Trade. Mr Pagrotsky expressed regret that an agreement with the utilities had not been met but also said that at some point the negotiations had to be aborted. Furthermore he said that the government together with the supporting parties, the Centre and the Left, naturally had a “plan B” and that that was to use the “Decommissioning Law” and that Barsebäck-2 was to be shut down in 2005. The reduction of production capacity is, for some period, to be replaced by fossil fuel, something that contradicts the emission targets on green house gases that Sweden has.

The “Decommissioning Law” dates back to 1997 when the political resolution to close Barsebäck 1 and 2 was passed. Barsebäck-1 was to be shut down in 1998 and Barsebäck-2 in 2001. Finally Barsebäck-1 was not closed until 1999 and as it seems Barsebäck-2 will be shut down in 2005. The closure dates for the rest of the nuclear power plants is still an open question. According to this law an early closure of Barsebäck-2 gives the right to financial compensation to the utilities. The figure is depending on the predictions of price for electricity in the future. And having in mind that the European Trading Scheme is around the corner and that the price for emissions will be in the market price for electricity it is probably not going to get cheaper than estimated in 1997. A total sum of 4-8 billion Swedish Kronor, about 440-880 million € has been mentioned.

Not to be forgotten is that a cable will be built between Sweden and Finland that will transfer electricity from the Finland-5 reactor now under construction. Both the reactor and the cable are to be commissioned in 2009. Politically this cable has caused debate since Swedish public means will used to “indirectly support nuclear power in Finland”. Also the rest of the Swedish nuclear power plants are planning power upgrades and thus Sweden might not lower its dependence of nuclear power, even if Barsebäck-2 is closed.

The utilities are not surprised by the closure it self since it was agreed upon already in 1997, but that the present negotiations was aborted is a surprise.

Martin Luthander
Young Generation Sweden

zpìt na úvodní stránku