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Atomic Promise
Sweden Eschews German Example and Re-Embraces Nuclear Power

Earlier this week it was the Finns who demonstrated a new commitment to nuclear power. Now it’s the Swedes who agreed to replace aging reactors with new ones and to get rid of a costly tax on nuclear power plants. The FT reports:

Sweden aims to produce all of its power from renewable sources by 2040 but in the meantime will build new nuclear plants to replace old ones being phased out, according to an agreement between government and opposition parties on Friday…Sweden currently gets about 40 per cent of its electricity from nine nuclear reactors. But four of its older reactors are due to close by the end of this decade. […]

As part of Friday’s deal, Sweden will also phase out from next year a tax on nuclear power that had led power producers to threaten to close down reactors if it was not withdrawn. Vattenfall, Sweden’s largest utility, threatened earlier this year to shut by the end of the decade the country’s six remaining reactors if the tax — which raised about SKr4bn ($484m) last year — was not scrapped.

Sweden’s Green Party is predictably perturbed by this, informed no doubt by the modern environmentalist’s knee-jerk repudiation of nuclear power’s place in a sustainable energy mix. Fortunately for the environment, these “greens” aren’t getting their way and Sweden is on track to continue to rely on zero-emissions nuclear energy for a substantial portion of its electricity production.

While Germany sets an example for how not to craft an eco-friendly energy mix, its encouraging to see other countries taking a more measured approach by recognizing the value nuclear energy has: it provides reliable, round-the-clock power without emitting harmful local air pollutants or greenhouse gases. It’s the world’s green energy workhorse, and at least in some parts of Europe it’s getting the respect it deserves.

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  • 6plus12

    Good news –

  • Andrew Allison

    Cliff Notes: Sweden’s figured out that sustainable energy is a crock and that nuclear is the only sensible source of energy. Who knew that the Swedes are so subtle.

  • Frank Natoli

    [Nuclear] provides reliable, round-the-clock power without emitting harmful local air pollutants or greenhouse gases.
    There is of course spent fuel waste, a problem the French have minimized by their highly automated reprocessing facility in Le Havre, a technique prohibited by law in the U.S., and the warming of river water for plant cooling purposes, both manageable issues.
    The “cleanest” of all round-the-clock power sources is hydro, no waste, no warming, but U.S. Greens/Democrats are in the process of removing Pacific Northwest hydro dams because, of course, they inconvenience some fish.
    TAI prints lovely articles about the benefits of nuclear power, but avoids the fundamental problem, which is the ignorance and intransigence of the environmental maniacs. No technical details matter for them. They KNOW.

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