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Sweden has ten nuclear plants, supplying approximately half of the nation's electricity
Sweden links from IAEA
* OKG AB
* Natural Science Research Council (NFR)
November 1, 2007
Sweden to keep its n-waste at home, and take back its prior shipment equivalent, too
Sweden is to cease sending shipments of nuclear waste to Sellafield and take back the equivalent of the deliveries already made, the Swedish Minister of the Environment, Andreas Carlgren, told a meeting of the Nordic Council Environment and Natural Resources Committee in Oslo on Wednesday. "I am in a position to promise that our transports of nuclear waste will cease. Let there be no doubt about that," the Swedish minister said. ... Asmund Kristoffersen (NO), chair of the Environment and Natural Resources Committee, characterized the Swedish minister's comments thusly: "...in future, all nuclear waste will be stored in Sweden. No waste from Swedish nuclear plants will be processed outside the country. This means an end to dangerous shipments by sea. It also removes the significant fear of a terror attack on one of the boats," Kristoffersen added. ... Kristoffersen says he is pleased, on behalf of the whole Nordic Region, that Sweden has called a halt to the transport of nuclear waste. In the worst case scenario, such shipments put the whole Region at peril.
The Finns informed the meeting that each of the country's nuclear power plants has to process the nuclear fuel and nuclear waste it generates itself.
[Source: Nordic Council (Denmark), "Swedes call a halt to nuclear waste shipments", October 31, 2007]
October 30, 2007
About one-third of Swedes have visited n-plant
It's not everyone's dream destination, but in Sweden thousands of visitors each year head to remote coastland to view the nation's nuclear power plants. At Forsmark, one of the country's three nuclear plants that each receive about 15,000 visitors a year, tourists wear protective clothing and carry dosimeters, which monitor their radiation exposure. Nils Sundquist, who lives just south of Stockholm, is a regular visitor to Forsmark: "I think we learn that nuclear is not so dangerous," he said. Of Sweden's population of around nine million, almost three million have been to a Swedish nuclear plant - some on school trips, others as passing tourists - since they were first able to visit 35 years ago, said Torsten Bohl, communications director at state firm Vattenfall, Forsmark's majority owner. "They see it's a large industrial complex, but nothing else - and the people who work there are ordinary, not greenish," said Bohl.
[Source: Reuters, "Swedes get buzz visiting nuclear plants", The Age (Melbourne, Australia), October 30, 2007]
March 26, 2007
Sweden - electricity prices are already so high that companies are going elsewhere; Chamber of Commerce recommends nuclear plants as part of solution
The Swedish Chamber of Commerce (Sveriges Handelskammare) has called for a long-term energy strategy to keep down electricity costs for Swedish businesses.
"We are now seeing serious signs that Swedish companies are being damaged by high energy costs and a lack of a long-term Swedish energy policy. Companies are moving abroad or choosing to locate new factories in other countries as a direct result of this. It is time for a broad energy agreement that takes into account the possibility for Swedish companies to stay in the country," said Peter Egardt, CEO of the Swedish Chamber of Commerce.
In a new report, the Chamber of Commerce proposes more nuclear power as part of the solution.
[Ref: The Local (Sweden), "Chamber of Commerce calls for more nuclear energy", March 26, 2007]
October 25, 2006
Nine of Sweden's 10 nuclear reactors back online
Stockholm - Nine of Sweden's 10 nuclear reactors, including four that were taken offline last July over flaws in their backup systems, were Wednesday back ...
June 29, 2006
Sweden - public poll shows very little support for early closure of n-plants
Sweden: 85% of Swedes either want to keep the country's 10 operating nuclear power reactors or construct new ones, according to the latest public opinion poll commissioned by the Analysis Group of the Swedish Nuclear Safety and Training Centre (KSU) and conducted by polling organization TEMO. The poll of 1016 Swedes, questioned between 7 and 13 June, found that just 13% supported the early closure of Swedish nuclear power reactors. The poll showed that 32% of respondents want to use existing reactors until they reach the end of their operational lifetimes, while 31% want to replace existing reactors with new ones and 22% want to build additional new units. 73% of respondents thought it was good that Sweden invested in nuclear, while just 18% said it was a bad idea. (NucNet News, 140/06, 29 June; see also News Briefing 05.48-8)
[Source: World Nuclear Association, WNA
June 18-23, 2006
Sweden hosted 400+ young nuclear professionals from 50 nations at 4th biannual INYC conference
Sweden: The fourth biannual International Nuclear Youth Congress (INYC) Conference was held in Stockholm on 18-23 June, with more than 400 participants from 50 countries. During one week young professionals from industry and academics presented their research, attended workshops and discussed current topics in nuclear science and technology. The conference included a technical tour of the Olkiluoto-3 construction site in Finland, as well as glimpses of Scandinavian culture. The IYNC network signed a declaration urging world leaders to acknowledge the contribution of nuclear energy to combat climate change, and to recognize how nuclear science and technology can help meet social, economic and environmental objectives in sustainable development. (WNA, 4 July)
[Source: World Nuclear Association, WNA
May 26, 2005
Sweden - upgrades at Forsmarks will support 410-MW uprate plan
Forsmarks Kraftgrupp has awarded a multimillion-dollar contract to GE Energy, for Power Range Neutron Monitor (PRNM) upgrade at each of the three Forsmarks reactors. The primary function of the PRNM is to monitor the reactor power level and initiate automatic protective actions to ensure compliance with plant safety limits. The system collects and processes signals from in-core detectors and communicates with the core-monitoring computer, display computer and other plant systems. Unit 2 will be the first to get upgrade, during July 2006 refueling outage. The other two units will get their new PRNM systems in 2007.
[Source: Datamonitor Newswire, "GE Energy to supply control systems to Swedish nuclear plant", Energy Business Review Online, May 26, 2005]
* 2005-05-20: Sweden allocates $30 million to Russia's nuclear waste recycling
* 2005-05-19: Sweden allocates $30mln for Russia's nuclear waste recycling
October 8, 2004
Sweden - Barsebck-2 discussions close with govt decision to shut it down in 2005 After two years of discussion with utilities on the future of the country's 11 nuclear power plants, the Swedish government broke off negotiations and declared that Barsebck-2 will close next year after 28 years operation, regardless of previous conditions regarding indigenous replacement power. Compensation for the premature politically-inspired closure of unit 1 in 1999 cost the Swedish taxpayers some SEK 8 billion (EUR 900 million), and this is likely to be repeated. The plant's 4.5 TWh/yr output will be replaced by nuclear generation from Finland and Russia, in the latter case from old Chernobyl-type reactors which the EU is anxious to shut down elsewhere.
[Source: Nucleonics Week, October 7, 2004, cited in World Nuclear Association Weekly Digest, "Sweden to close Barsebck-2 in 2005", October 8, 2004]
March 30, 2004
Sweden - 41% power uprate sought for Ringhals-3 PWR
The in-progress steam generator replacement will support an 80 MWe uprate, and various engineering work accounts for another 300 MWe of uprates in coming years. The plant, which started commercial operations in 1981, is currenty rated at 920 MWe. The government of Sweden had requested industry to expand nuclear capacity to replace the 600 MW lost when Barseback-1 shut down. The application will be reviewed by the Swedish nuclear power inspectorate (SKI). SKI's recommendations will then be considered by the government's environment ministry, which will make any formal proposal for government action. [Source: NucNet]
January 9, 2003
Terrorists and n-weapons: there's bad news and worse news
A Swedish Defense Department research team has spent about two years evaluating how likely it is that terrorists could create and use nuclear weapons. Gunnar Arbman, the head scientist at the Swedish Defense Research Agency (FOI), talked to AFP about their findings. The only good news is that actually producing the nuclear material needed to make such weapons would be far too difficult for any terrorist group. Sweden has some expertise in this matter, as it launched a program in the 1950s to acquire nuclear weapons itself. The bad news comes in waves: terrorists could steal or buy the highly enriched material, and once acquired, it is a near certainty that, if the fissionable material is obtained, they could successfully construct an almost-Hiroshima-sized nuclear weapon.
[Source: Agence France Presse, "Swedish defense agency says "terrorists" could easily make nuclear bomb", January 8, 2004]
January 6, 2004
Greater security urged for Sweden: radioactive materials, borders
The possibility of terrorists acquiring radioactive material like strontium, cesium or other material, and using it in crude radiological weapons is considered a viable threat by the International Atomic Energy Agency. The Swedish Defense Research Agency (FOI) has concluded that the nation needs more protection against the smuggling or stealing of radioactive material. Although no radioactive material has been stolen or misplaced in Sweden, for example, security measures at hospitals and elsewhere need to be improved. "Better measures to protect these materials are needed," said Lena Oliver, an FOI researcher. FOI was also critical of lax security checks at Swedish border points with Finland, Denmark and Norway. The countries have an open border policy. "If you haven't enough protection at the sites where such materials are stored or handled, there is a risk that they leave the country," Oliver said. "And as we do not have any continuous checks, which we should have, there is no possibility for us to detect any such materials passing through the border."
[Source: Associated Press, "Researcher: Better measures needed against smuggling of radioactive material in Sweden", January 5, 2004]
November 27, 2003
Repositories for nuclear waste in Sweden
In Sweden work on designing a final repository for High Level Nuclear Waste, HLW and Spent Fuel, SF, started in 1977. Three reports on safety analysis of HLW and SF were presented in a few years time, The first, KBS-1, in 1977 showed that it was possible to fulfil an extremely high degree of safety by disposinghigh level vitrified waste in a deep geologic repository. The Swedish government accepted the safety assessment and two nearly finished reactors were allowed to start operation based on this safety assessment. A few years later two new studies, KBS-2 and KBS-3, explored the disposal of un-reprocessed, SF, in copper canisters. These safety assessments showed that also this was possible to do with a very high degree of safety. In the KBS-3 concept the fuel is enclosed in copper canisters that are placed in large boreholes in excavated tunnels at about 500 m below the ground. The canisters are surrounded by compacted bentonite clay. The basic ideas of the KBS-3 concept have been used as starting points in many countries in their studies of nuclear waste repositories.
In the early 1980's a study was started on the design of a final repository for Low and Intermediate Level radioactive Waste, LILW. The safety analysis of a repository placed several tens of meters deep in rock and located at shallow depth under the Baltic Sea showed that a very high degree of radiological safety could be guaranteed. The so-called SFR 1 was built and started operating in 1988. It receives practically all LILW, in Sweden.
At present two sites, one at Oskarshamn and one at Forsmark are being explored and investigated for the possible siting of the final repository for the SF from all Swedish reactors. One of these sites will be used provided the rock properties and other conditions are acceptable.
The safety analyses are based on modeling of the possible release and transport of radionuclides from the waste form through the man-made barriers and the rock mass to the biosphere. Much of the information on flow and transport properties of fractured rock masses have been obtained from the Stripa Hard Rock Laboratory where a multitude of investigations were performed between 1978 and 1992. The new Hard Rock Laboratory at ASPO commenced operating in the early 1990's and has supplied a wealth of information on flow and transport properties, rock mechanics, clay properties etc., that are now used for the design and safety assessment of the future repository for SF.
[Source: The Korea Herald, "Nuclear waste repositories in Sweden, Spain, Japan", November 27, 2003 (Excerpted from presentation at the International Symposium on Radioactive Waste Management 2003)
August 19, 2003
Sweden - criminal charges against Barsebaeck plant referred to prosecutor
Sweden's Act on Nuclear Activities codifies a central tenet for reactor safety: "This is a basic principle, that you shut down if something's not right and you cannot immediately find out why", is how Judith Melin, Director General of the Swedish Nuclear Power Inspectorate (SKI) described the requirement at a press conference today. SKI has concluded that Barsebaeck-2 management violated this requirement when it allowed the plant to continue operating after an unsuccessful January 3, 2003 attempt to correct an abnormal flow condition in feedwater system. The flow problem had been noticed months earlier. When the plant finally shut down on January 16, it was discovered that some components called thermal mixers, which had been replaced during summer outage, had broken and pieces had come loose. Christer Viktorsson, director of SKI's Reactor Safety Office, told the press conference that there was a risk of eventual fuel damage and safety margins were compromised.
The regulators concluded that the continued operation in the face of uncertainty represents a clear violation of the law, at least for the post-January 3 period, and very possibly even during prior period. This is the first time that SKI has referred criminal charges related to reactor safety to a prosecutor. The regulators also have concluded that there's a safety culture problem at the plant, and will not allow Barsebaeck to restart until specified improvements are made.
Barsebaeck management disagrees with the regulator's conclusions. Their position is that neither regulations nor laws were broken.
Barsebaeck, which is visible from Copenhagen, has some pretty adamant opponents in Denmark. Criminal charges don't seem likely to make any Danes feel better about the nearby plant. The low INES scale rating of the feedwater flow event (INES 1) may temper reaction from Denmark. But not all. Here's how Copenhagen Mayor Jens Kramer Mikkelsen reacted to SKI's announcement: "We've said for years that it's complete stupidity to have a nuclear plant so close to a major city. The Swedes have always defended themselves by saying that Barsebaeck has such good safety", Mikkelsen told the Danish newspaper Politiken. "Now, Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen has to stand up and say to the Swedes: 'Keep your promise to everyone in the region and close Barsebaeck.'" His opinion was echoed in Danish tabloid B.T.: "It is difficult to accept that our sister nation has completely ignored Danish protests about Barsebaeck for many years... Shouldn't the Swedes take the opportunity to take Danish protests seriously and take steps to shut down the doleful plant?... The cocky attitude to nuclear power characterises Swedish society, which is hierarchical and politically correct to a degree that's almost painful."
[Refs: Associated Press, "Swedish prosecutors asked to investigate alleged violation of safety standards at nuclear plant", August 19, 2003; BBC News, "European press review: Nuclear no", August 20, 2003; Radio Sweden (Stockholm), "Criminal investigation into Swedish nuclear power plant", August 20, 2003; and Ariane Sains (Stockholm), "SKI files legal case against Barsebaeck", Nucleonics Week, August 21, 2003, p. 1]
August 13, 2003
All Swedish nuclear power plants are situated at coastal sites and take from and return cooling water to the sea. Observers point out that this summer's temperatures are not as high as last year in Sweden. However, the situation for hydro-electricity is worse, with water levels in dams lower than normal Š which could lead to increased electricity prices in winter if the situation does not improve.
[Source: John Shepherd (NucNet Central Office), "Europe's Heatwave: Nuclear Shows Staying Power As Wind Fails", NucNet, August 13, 2003]
Mean individual dose to Swedes from Chernobyl accident (over 50-year period) is projected to be 770 microSieverts. The collective dose to Swedes over the same period is projected to be 6,400 person-Sieverts. The projections take into account inhalation from the passing cloud, ingestion through the food chain, and external irradiation from deposited radioactivity, and are based on the MESOS dispersion model developed by Helen ApSimon of Imperial College, as applied by W. Nixon, of the Safety and Reliability Directorate of the U.K. Atomic Energy Authority. [Ref: Nuclear News, "Chernobyl doses across the continent", January 1987, p. 62]