Sweden ‘not prepared for nuclear accident’

Sweden is not prepared to deal with the long-term effects of a nuclear power accident, the Swedish National Audit Office has said.

“If a nuclear accident happened today, the long-term consequences would be more serious than necessary, as the authorities are poorly prepared,” said auditor Lennart Grufberg.

This means that more people risk being subjected to radiation in the atmosphere and in food than would have been the case if authorities were better prepared.

The government has not been given an updated appraisal of authorities’ abilities to handle the consequences of an accident in Swedish nuclear power station, the audit said.

Sweden’s nuclear power plants have been plagued by safety scares in recent years. One incident in 2006 led to the shutdown of the Forsmark 1 reactor, north of Stockholm. Two backup generators, which supply power to the reactor’s cooling system, malfunctioned for about 20 minutes.

Some experts have suggested that a catastrophic meltdown was narrowly avoided.