Christian Democrats warm to nuclear expansion

Sweden's Christian Democrats are not ruling out the contruction of new nuclear reactors in the country after 2010, according to party leader Göran Hägglund . The apparent U-turn means that three of the country's four ruling parties are now willing to consider the expansion of the nuclear power programme.

Increased emission of carbon dioxide “is perhaps the biggest threat to mankind” said Hägglund to Svenska Dagbladet on Saturday.

He emphasised that the energy deal among the Swedish government parties – no reactors will be shut down and no decision will be taken about extending the nuclear energy programme during this parliament – is still very much in place.

But Hägglund is not ruling out further nuclear plants in the future.

On Friday the Christian Democrats’ party board implemented a working group which has been tasked with making new proposals in the area.

The party’s position on the matter has until recently been that nuclear power should be phased out as soon as it can be replaced by renewable energy. But in a report to be used by the group environment spokesman Sven Gunnar Persson wrote: “We will not exclude the possibility of building new nuclear reactors in Sweden after 2010”.

Among the ruling conservative parties, the Liberals are most in favour of nuclear expansion. Meanwhile, in a proposal for a new approach which is being discussed by the Moderates, it is stated that nuclear energy “ought to have the option of being developed”.

The Centre Party wants to phase out nuclear power “at a balanced pace”.