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Swedish opposition to nuclear energy on the up

Swedish opposition to nuclear energy on the up

Published: 28 Apr 2012 15:38 GMT+02:00
Updated: 28 Apr 2012 15:38 GMT+02:00

Swedes have become more negative towards nuclear power in the year since Japan's nuclear catastrophe in Fukushima, a new survey by the SOM institute at Gothenburg University has shown.

According to the survey, 44 percent of Swedes are in favour of phasing out nuclear power either immediately or after current nuclear power stations have completed their lifespan.

The proportion in favour of expanding nuclear power resources in Sweden or replacing existing ones amounted to 35 percent.

The survey interviewed 1,500 people during the autumn of 2011 with the full results expected in June 2012.

The Swedish public has long been deeply divided regarding the nuclear power issue.

Following the Three Mile Island accident in Harrisburg, Virginia, USA in 1979, all political parties in Sweden's parliament agreed to the holding of a referendum.

The compromise that followed allowed for three different choices to be put to the public - option 1,2,3.

Option 2 - a sort of compromise promising a long term nuclear phase out and ensuring continued state ownership of power stations - won a narrow plurality of the non-binding referendum.

Following the vote, the parliament agreed to close all of Sweden's nuclear reactors by 2010. This date has passed without prospect of the decision being put into effect.

In fact parliament voted in June 2010 in favour of building new reactors to replace the existing ageing stations.

Nuclear power accounts for just under 40 percent of the electricity produced in Sweden with ten reactors currently in operation.

The ten reactors are located at three locations - Forsmark, Oskarshamn and Ringhals. Barsebäck in southern Sweden was closed in 2005.

TT/The Local/pvs (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

16:47 April 28, 2012 by Dazzler
Hey look..its Trowbridge and his triumphant rat tail ! Nice to see hes out and about!
18:28 April 28, 2012 by Carbarrister
Are the 44% of Swedes in favor of phasing out nuclear power in favor of doing with out the 40% of Sweden's electricity it generates? I think not. What id it going to be replaced with? wind and solar? That's not working out. Remember when the move to nuclear was celebrated as a way to get away from the eco damage caused by hydro?
19:14 April 28, 2012 by tendance
@Carbarrister you've asked very insightful questions: Are the 44% swedes also in favour of phasing out electricity provision by 40%. i do not think so. Do the respondents know that a good percentage of their electricity come from nunclear reactors? How were the questions constructed for the respondents to answer? This report purports to be informative, but it is rather skeletal. I think it fails to mention the the real/other purposes of the nuclear reactors and i am sure the other reasons for keeping the reactors is what the swedes are against and not to phase out electricity.
08:16 April 29, 2012 by calebian22
I'm in favor of my electric bill being lower than my mortgage payment. Since it isn't now, I can't imagine it will be cheaper if the tree hugging, dirt munching druids, get their way.
12:32 April 29, 2012 by Mb 65
These Swedes against Nuclear power are they the same ones that wanted to go into the Euro so they didn't have to change their money when they went on holiday. I wonder where that lot are now. It will be the same with Nuclear power, when the price of electricity goes sky high they will be out there demonstrating against it but it will be too late.
18:38 April 29, 2012 by viennacalling
There is a true alternative Wind Solar Biomass and Wave technology, please view the latest financial reports from Sechilienne Sidec and Theolia Also Alstrom who have recently invested in Wave Technology, you will all be surprised

the problem is that most of the media and governments are still supportive of the nuclear industry and this will have to change before we see positive steps towards embracing the benefits of renewable energy
20:18 April 29, 2012 by BritVik
If the nuclear power stations were all closed down, and the reliance was on wind-power, just wait for the reaction when, on the coldest of days - all the wind generators are standing still due to no wind, and they can't brew their coffee 'cos there's no power.

A change of heart ? ? ? ?
23:14 April 29, 2012 by libertarianism
I hate how windmills look on the landscape.

I think we need to change how we live, not just junk up the landscape in new ways to sustain all the current absurdities...
09:41 April 30, 2012 by pjtaipale
Fukushima: pretty much the worst that can happen happens. A core meltdown. And still, no one got killed by it - as opposed to several who were killed when the dam of a hydroelectric plant broke in the same earthquake. Around the reactor, you have a few miles of exclusion zone, but the actual environmental hazard is all the other things that the giant wave flushed around (refineries, chemical plants, factories, wastewater facilities, whatever).

Sure, it's bad for those who live close and had to leave their homes. But compared to the other alternatives for producing energy, or particularly the alternative of not producing energy, this is minor.

I'd welcome a nuclear plant in my neighbourhood any time. Not right in the backyard, just because it's big and there's some traffic from people and stuff that go in and out, but other than that, a welcome neighbour. At least much better than the "green" fossil plants they're now building. (They're green because they're owned by the municipal company here, so the profits can be used by the politicians).
18:17 April 30, 2012 by samwise
I'd pick phasing out all dams if that's all it asks on the survey. But if I were asked phasing out all dams AND tripling hydro prices, or staying as is, I'd probably go with the latter.

There is still no free lunch after thousands of years, simply amazing!
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