Swedish government frees up legislation on nuclear expansion

(EurActiv, 12 Jan 2023) Legislation restricting the number of nuclear reactors and their geographic location is being updated by the government to support the expansion of Sweden’s nuclear fleet.

After a 1980 referendum, Sweden decided to reduce the number of nuclear plants on its territory by 2010.

But since then, attitudes have gradually changed and the lifespan of reactors has been extended until 2045 at least.

Rising electricity prices and climate targets have also had an impact. In an opinion poll published at the end of December, 59% of Swedes said they were ready to continue embracing nuclear and, if necessary, build more reactors. Only 8% wished the plants to be shut down.

Environment Minister Romina Pourmokhtari, and Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson announced the government’s plans to bring in a reform which would allow building reactors in new locations. The law currently provides for the operation of 10 reactors in only three locations – Forsmark, Oskarshamn and Ringhals.

“Legislative changes are being made to enable new nuclear power, including shorter licensing processes and administrative fast-tracks,” Kristersson told the press conference.

According to Pourmokhtari, as quoted by the Swedish News Agency, the updated legislation should also allow the building of conventional large-scale reactors and small modular reactors (SMRs).

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EurActiv, 12 Jan 2023: Swedish government frees up legislation on nuclear expansion