The Swedish parliament said that the economic conditions for the closure of Barsebäck 2 would be met by the end of 2003 at the latest.
Barsebäck 1 was shut down according to plan in 1999, but last autumn the government said that unit 2 might continue beyond its 2003 deadline as it saw no other options. Last month's parliamentary ruling came after critics of the Barsebäck plant argued the conditions for closure would be met this year. Parliament overruled the proposal by 117 to 39, with 155 abstentions and 38 absentees.
Another review is planned for the spring of 2003. "Only after that lawmakers can make a decision to shut down the reactor," said Ulf Renberg, head of parliament's industry committee.
Sweden has committed itself to phase out nuclear power and replace it with renewable sources. Conditions set in 1997 stated that a nuclear plant closure must not raise electricity prices, reduce electricity supplied to Swedish industry or harm the environment. The country aims to cut its carbon dioxide emissions by at least 2% from 1990 levels by 2010 under the Kyoto agreement.