Vattenfall exec predicts new nuclear build

30 March 2001

New nuclear plants may be built in Europe over the next twenty years where new baseload capacity is needed, says Nils Andersson, director, of the generation division of Vattenfall AB and chairman of the Swedish Atomic Forum.

In a departure from the mainstream view, and that expressed by the European Commission in its Green Paper on energy supply security, which billed a nuclear revival in Europe as “unlikely”, Andersson told a meeting in Brussels that we may see “limited new build in specific countries or regions where there is a clear need for new baseload capacity” over the next two decades. A main candidate is Finland, where TVO has applied for government permission to build a fifth unit, he added.

In an address to the Brussels Energy Round Table, Andersson said that the main conditions for new nuclear construction are: •A change to long-term thinking, favouring stability of electricity supply.

•A policy exchanging electricity trade for self-sufficiency – a position favoured in the EC’s Green Paper, which highlights a need to reduce the EU’s dependence on outside energy sources.

•Political will to reduce greenhouse gases and grow energy independence.

•Streamlined licensing procedures for companies considering the nuclear option.

•Public support, which he said was less challenging if new units could be built on existing nuclear sites.

Andersson cited poll results that indicated a lack of public support in Germany and Sweden for the nuclear phase-out programmes underway, saying that government policies in these countries were “out of line” with public opinion.

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