Sweden should stop dithering over nuclear power

24 October 2008

Sweden’s on-hold policy of phasing out its nuclear power industry has been roundly criticised in an International Energy Agency (IEA) assessment of Swedish energy policy. Releasing the report, Nobuo Tanaka, IEA executive director noted nuclear power provides almost half of the electricity in Sweden, at a low cost and without CO2 emissions. “It is hard to see how phasing out nuclear power could serve Sweden’s broader energy and climate policy goals. The current situation also creates uncertainty for investors in all forms of electricity generation in the whole Nordic market area”, he argued. “The government should intensify its efforts to clarify the role of nuclear power in the Swedish energy mix” taking account of electricity prices, climate change and security of electricity supply, he added. Sweden’s previous social democratic government had planned to phase out nuclear power. This was shelved by a Conservative-led coalition gaining power in 2006. It has also authorised major reactor upgrades.

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