The Swedish parliament has approved a government proposal to close Barsebäck 2 at the end of 2004 "if possible".
Bo Bylund, who was appointed last year by the government to work out an agreement with nuclear operators on the details and timetable for the eventual closure of their nuclear facilities, is now expected to deliver the results of these negotiations at the end of April 2004. However, nuclear utility leaders have said that they will not enter discussion over the future of energy policy in Sweden until the country's nuclear tax has been abolished.
The government told parliament that conditions necessary for enforcing the closure of the unit before the end of 2003 could not be met, while industry minister Leif Pagrotsky said that he hoped the matter would be solved "before the end of 2005".
Separately, during the same debate on 10 June, the Swedish Liberal Party told parliament that it would welcome changes in an energy bill in order to enable construction of new nuclear units in the country when needed. Liberal Party spokeswoman for energy and business, Eva Flyborg, said that the party would "welcome a change in the laws to enable utilities to build new nuclear power units when needed."
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