Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Sweden to Close Barseback 2 Plant

Despite the fact that 80 percent of its voters want to keep nuclear as part of the nation's energy mix, the Swedish government is still going ahead with plans it first made 25 years ago to phase out its domestic nuclear energy industry.

Next on the agenda, closing the Barseback 2 nuclear power plant:

The majority of Swedes say they fear they will have to import energy from carbon dioxide-emitting coal and gas power plants elsewhere in Europe, as a result of energy shortages.

There have also been warnings that power costs are on course for sharp rises.

"There is a lack of electricity in the Nordic market and this will only contribute to that," Kalle Lindholm, spokesman for Sweden's power industry group Swedenergy, told Reuters news agency.
There's one group of folks who may be happy about Swedish plans in this area -- and they're right across the border in Finland, where that nation plans to build five reactors.

Barseback 2 alone generated four percent of Sweden's electricity, and nuclear accounts for 50 percent of electricity generation overall. The closing comes six years after the government shutdown Barseback 1 17 years ahead of the planned life expectancy of the plant.

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