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Sweden Looks To Expand Its Nuclear Power Generation Capacity

Sweden’s government is proposing changes in the current legislation to allow the construction and operation of more nuclear reactors as it looks to strengthen its energy security, Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson said on Wednesday.

“We are now changing the legislation, making it possible to build more reactors in more places than is possible today,” Kristersson said.

Any changes to the current legislation, which limits the number of reactors to ten and doesn’t allow for new places to host nuclear reactors, need to be passed by the Swedish Parliament.  

Expanding nuclear power generation was a key campaign goal for Kristersson last year, and he has said that Sweden’s goal of “100% renewable” electricity generation would change to “100% fossil-free” power generation.   

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Currently, Sweden has three nuclear plants with six operational reactors in total, while nuclear power provides around a third of its electricity.

Another 43% of Sweden’s electricity comes from hydropower, 16% from wind power, and around 9% of the power generation comes from combined heat and power (CHP) plants, which are mainly powered by biofuels.

Sweden is an EU leader in renewable power generation. In 2021, around 60% of Sweden’s electricity generation came from renewable sources.

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Although Sweden has been much less affected by the turmoil in the energy markets since the Russian invasion of Ukraine than many other EU countries, many Western allies of the U.S. and the EU have stepped up efforts to ensure energy security and depend less on energy commodities.

Even Japan is bringing back nuclear power as a key energy source, looking to protect its energy security in the crisis that has led to surging fossil fuel prices. The Japanese government confirmed in December a new policy for nuclear energy, which the country had mostly abandoned since the Fukushima disaster in 2011.

A panel of experts under the Japanese Ministry of Industry decided that Japan would allow the development of new nuclear reactors and allow available reactors to operate after the current limit of 60 years.  

By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com

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