Sweden’s parliament will consider a law that would erase limits on the number of nuclear reactors the country will allow.
Currently, Sweden limits the number of reactors to 10 in each of three regions around the country.
“We have an obvious need for more electricity production,” center-right prime minister Ulf Kristersson said in a public statement quoted by the Financial Times. “We should be able to build more reactors in more places.”
The country now has six operating nuclear generating stations. Six others were shut down in the wake of 2011’s Fukushima nuclear catastrophe in Japan.
Sweden’s power-hungry steel and battery industries are expanding in the northern part of the country. Growth will demand new sources of large amounts of electricity, the FT noted.
Currently, Sweden relies heavily on wind and water power to generate electricity, neither of which can produce as much power as reliably as nuclear power.
Any new nuclear power plants will take at least 10 years to build, experts told the FT, because of new requirements introduced after Fukushima and the September 11 attacks in the U.S.
The new strictures are intended to make the plants better able to withstand natural disasters and the direct impact of a crashing jetliner.
TREND FORECAST: While there is a lot of promotion about the new efficiency and less fear of a Fukushima, Chernobyl, Three Mile Island nuclear plant disaster, it is taking more time than estimated.
One such plant being built in Finland was slated to begin producing power in 2009 but has yet to be completed due to a range of technical glitches and has now cost three times more than originally budgeted.
The generating station is now scheduled to come online in March.
Other nations are turning back to nuclear power during 2022’s energy crunch, created by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and resulting Western sanctions.
The U.K. has announced plans to begin building eight new nukes by 2030. Belgium and Germany have extended operations in some plants that were scheduled to be shut down in the near future because they had reached the projected end of their useful lives.
TRENDPOST: As we noted last week, nuclear energy has been embraced by Western countries despite its own inherent risks. (See “JAPAN PREPARING TO POISON THE PLANET,” 13 Dec 2022.)
The argument that nuclear energy is “green” is hung on the fact that it does not produce carbon dioxide emissions while natural gas emits about 58 percent as much carbon dioxide as coal, the U.S. Energy Information Association said.
One of the key debates hinges on what to do with nuclear waste produced in these nuclear power plants. The International Atomic Energy Agency has said the best storage for the waste is in geological disposal facilities, which would be placed in metal or concrete containers and sealed permanently in vaults hundreds of yards below solid rock.