Supervisor Elham AbolFateh
Editor in Chief Mohamed Wadie

Sweden Mulls over Closing Power Plants due to Pileup of Depleted Waste

Thu 26 Aug 2021 | 12:21 PM
Ahmed Moamar


“Bloomberg” (a well-known US news website) revealed that the non-available space to store nuclear waste in Sweden enforces the government to mull over closing the six reactors in the country before the end of the current month.

It is worth noting that these reactors supply Sweden with a third of its needs for electric power.

The government has less than a week to get rid of the nuclear waste or it should rationalize the electric current. However, closing the nuclear reactors will cause blackout in some parts of Sweden.

If the government fails to address that problem, operators of the six nuclear reactors must start stopping them within the three coming years.

It is worth noting that closing the nuclear reactors will result in a national crisis in Sweden and expose the government to the risk of fall.

The Swedish government will convene today, Thursday, to discuss the file of power that is still undecided for more than a year.

Torbjorn Wahlborg, head of generation section at state-owned Wattenfall Company, said that there is no realistic way to replace nuclear power with other energy in such a short time. The company operates five of Sweden's six reactors.

On the contrary, the remaining reactors are needed more than ever in Sweden due to the huge growth in demand for clean energy that Sweden will need to become carbon neutral.”

Sweden’s case shed the light on a controversial topic linked to the nuclear industry as most of the countries can’t find a solution to the depleted nuclear fuel.

According to World Nuclear Association, Sweden's inpidual electricity consumption is very high at approximately 12,600 kWh/yr per capita on average.

Hydroelectric output depends on seasonal precipitation, varying from 79 TWh in 2000 to 62 TWh in 2018. The total capacity at the end of 2018 was 41.2 GWe1. By law, the grid operator Svenska Kraftnät must ensure there is a 750 MWe winter reserve capacity.

The Nordic and Baltic transmission systems are highly interconnected, and since 2013, Sweden has been a net exporter of electricity.

In 2013, Sweden exported some 10 TWh; in 2014, 15.6 TWh; in 2015, 22.6 TWh; in 2016, 11.7 TWh; in 2017, 19 TWh; and in 2018, 17.2 TWh.

Sweden has three operational nuclear power stations, with a total of six reactors, and an additional eight reactors in different stages of decommissioning. The reactors are owned and operated by Vattenfall (state-owned), and private utilities include Uniper SE (formerly E.ON Sweden) and Fortum Sweden (majority-owned by the Finnish government).