July 20, 2024

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Sweden’s ambitious plan for nuclear power expansion by 2035 is under threat as deadlines loom

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The Swedish government’s goal of getting new nuclear power capacity online by the middle of the next decade is a big challenge, but one that’s attainable, according to the nation’s coordinator for the drive to revive atomic energy.

Above all, effective coordination between the different parts of the industry, the government and other bodies will be needed, said Carl Berglof, who was appointed national nuclear coordinator in January. The government’s road map calls for at least 2,500 megawatts up and running by 2035.

Sweden is in dire need of new power capacity as demand is projected to double with the electrification of the economy in the coming decades. Sweden has six reactors today, providing about a third of the nation’s electricity. State utility Vattenfall AB and Finland’s Fortum Oyj are among the firms studying new reactors, although investment decisions are still years away.

“Sweden is seen as an attractive country to invest in as we know nuclear power,” Berglof told reporters in Stockholm on Tuesday. “But we have to show that it’s possible as well.”

Clarity is needed on the support provided by the state, he said. The model needs to stay the same though the newbuild program, he added.

Vattenfall said last week that the earliest a new reactor could come online is in the first half of the 2030s.

The firm said it had narrowed the list of potential suppliers of so-called small modular reactors to two firms from six — Rolls Royce Holdings Plc and GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy.

In parallel, Vattenfall continues to study suppliers for potential large-scale units, including Electricite de France SA, Westinghouse Electric Co. and Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power Co. Vattenfall has also said it’s studying extending the lives of its existing units.

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Lars Paulsson, Bloomberg

2024-06-19 01:00:00

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