Switching off

Last Updated: Saturday 04 July 2015

while the world is still debating the future of nuclear power, Sweden has decided to phase out its large nuclear power industry. The decision has sparked strong protests from citizens, opposition parties, trade unions and industries. The government intends to close down at least two of the country's 12 nuclear reactors by July 2001, with the first to be shut down by July next year.

The resulting power deficit will be met through household energy savings and through biomass, wind and water power. However, critics believe that in the short term at least, Sweden will have to rely on imported electricity from coal-fired Danish plants or on natural gas. This would in turn increase Sweden's contribution to greenhouse gases. Nuclear power accounts for half of electricity generated in Sweden and provides cheaper energy compared to other sources. It supports important industries such as forestry, mining, steel and engineering. A majority of people is opposed to closing down nuclear reactors fearing high cost of replacement and loss of jobs that will add to the high rate of unemployment.

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