Swedish prime minister Goran Persson has left the door open for Barsebäck 2 to continue operating beyond 2003.
Officially, the Swedish government is committed to closing down Sweden's remaining 11 reactors, starting with Barsebäck 2, by the end of next year.
During the recent Swedish election, Persson said that he is still committed to that date "with the caveat that there must be electricity which replaces nuclear so that southern Sweden is not without power." Persson said he thought that could be managed, but he did not specify whether he is prepared to accept more imported electricity from Denmark.
The government has generally been against increasing power imports.
Although Persson's Social Democrats won about 40% of the vote, they are still dependent on other parties in parliament to get bills passed. Traditionally, they have relied on the Left and Green parties. Both of these are opposed to nuclear power. However, earlier this year, the Left signed an agreement with the Social Democrats and the Centre Party that allows for a German-style decommissioning programme, with reactors operating until the end of their technical lifetimes.
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