The devastating wave of destruction after Japan’s 8.9 earthquake last Friday has figuratively reached Sweden’s shores. As the world sits glued to watching the explosive developments of Japan’s troubled nuclear power plants, Swedish anti-nuclear protesters are harnessing their own reactive fuel to reclaim the tiny plots of ground the pro-nuclear movement has recently enjoyed. One of Sweden’s largest daily newspapers opened with an article “Kärnkraft har ingen framtid” (Nuclear energy has no future).
Several of Sweden’s shut down reactors are coming back on line as we speak and there has been wind in the sails for talks about further developing the capacity of nuclear energy.
There’s no doubt that the future of Sweden’s nuclear power plants is in jeopardy as we await the fallout of the precarious situation of the damaged reactors in Japan.
It’s already on record that I’m not a bunny hugger and it’s probably obvious that I support the development of nuclear energy. So I sit with everyone, watching, listening and trying to discern which bits of “expert” information presented by the many media sources are reliable and which are riding the wave of sensational fear. Sometimes I am assured that this is all going to be contained. Sometimes I am very scared.
Which is the accurate outcome? I don’t know. What I fear most is that when this is settled and the factual reports (and I will presume they’re honest and accurate) come in, will we be able to interpret them for what they say if they demonstrate a manageable result or at we already at a point of no return to nuclear energy development in Sweden?
Edit: And it seems there is indeed a push to scare Swedes about the frights of nuclear plants when you have a comment like this: (link to article)
“There are places in Sweden where a similar accident could cause a blast equal to 15,000 Nagasakis,” said Göran Bryntse, head of the Swedish Anti-Nuclear Movement (Folkkampanjen mot kärnkraft) which is planning demonstrations for Wednesday evening.
Makes me want to ask him: Where and how exactly?
Edit 2 (March 16th). My new nuclear hero is Ian Hore-Lacy who is the Director of Public Communications for the World Nuclear Association. Listen and watch to how he explains on Bloomberg TV the circumstances in the reactors and assures there is nothing more to fear.