Energy prices reach record high

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Swedish energy prices reached a record high point on Thursday after an electricity failure at a nuclear power station prompted the shutdown of two reactors amid safety fears.


Electricity was trading at 54.3 Swedish öre per kilowatt hour Thursday morning on the Nordic energy spot market Nordpool, up 2.4 percent from the previous day's average. It reached a record high of 54.4 early in the session, reported AFP.

Per-Ivar Sigelfeldt, operation manager at Svenska Kraftnet, the company that owns the electric lines in Sweden and is responsible for balancing the distribution of power, said the shutdown of four reactors might have a temporary affect on the market, but that consumers should not worry about a energy crisis.

“It is nothing to be worried about,” he said to The Local. “The prices might continue to go up a bit on Friday, but it will balance out. It is strange that there are four reactors down at the same time, but the market always overreacts when this kind of thing happens.”

He said prices are already high this summer due to the drought. The water shortages have made it difficult for the hydroelectric production facilities, and Sweden has had to use coal and oil to ensure there is enough energy available.

“There is definitely no crisis,” Sigelfeldt said. “We have energy reserves that we can use. It really depends on how long those four reactors stay offline.”

Late Wednesday, the operator of the Oskarshamn nuclear power station on the southern Swedish coast said that two of its three reactors would be shut down because their safety was not guaranteed.

The decision followed an short circuit at the Forsmark nuclear power station last week which led to one reactor shutdown and allegations that a reactor meltdown was prevented only by luck.

Two of the three Forsmark reactors have also stopped operating, taking the number of reactor shutdown to four.


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