The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry

Climate change: making polluters pay. Sweden’s Climate Act

Climate Change
40 countries are making polluters pay for carbon pollution. Guess who’s not.
Most people who have given climate change policy any thought agree that it is important to put a price on greenhouse gas emissions. They are a form of harmful waste; those producing the waste should pay for the harms

Sweden passes ambitious climate law to be carbon neutral by 2045.
Sweden passed a new Climate Act on Thursday, legally binding the country to reach net-zero emissions by the year 2045. The act, which passed in parliament by a vote of 254 to 41, is even more ambitious than what the Scandinavian country pledged under the Paris Agreement: Under the new act, Sweden will reach carbon neutrality five years earlier.

June 19, 2017 Posted by | 2 WORLD, climate change, Sweden | Leave a comment

In Sweden, civil society can influence nuclear waste decisions

How can civil society influence nuclear waste decisions? Nuclear Transparency Watch Johan Swahn, ENEF May 23 2017 I have worked with radioactive waste issues for many years, first at university and since 12 years for the Swedish environmental movement.

In Sweden the systems set up for access to information, consultation and public information are very favourable for dialogue. It is not always easy to interest the general public or politicians in the
complexity of radioactive waste issues, but the interactions between the industry (SKB), the regulator (SSM), the nuclear communities (Östhammar and Oskarshamn), the Swedish Council for Nuclear Waste (the Government’s scientific advisory board), academia, the environmental movement and other
actors are well developed.

May 31, 2017 Posted by | politics, Sweden | Leave a comment

Sweden cancels arrest warrant for Julian Assange, closes investigation

Sweden shuts down Julian Assange rape investigation, TT/The Local 19 May 2017, Swedish prosecutors have decided to end the rape investigation into Julian Assange and lift the Europe-wide arrest warrant against him, but UK police say they will still arrest him.In a statement on its website, the Swedish prosecution authority said that the “Director of Public Prosecution, Ms Marianne Ny, has today decided to discontinue the investigation regarding suspected rape (lesser degree) by Julian Assange”.

May 20, 2017 Posted by | Legal, politics international, Sweden | Leave a comment

Nuclear costs weigh on Vattenfall causes a loss

thumbs-downVattenfall slides to Q4 loss as German nuclear costs weigh, Nasdaq, 7 Feb 17 
Fourth-quarter operating loss 2.8 bln crowns * 5.6 bln provision for Germany nuclear waste storage costs * Proposes no dividend for 2016 for fourth year in a row (Adds detail, background) STOCKHOLM, Feb 7 (Reuters) – Swedish utility Vattenfall [VATN.UL] slumped to an operating loss of 2.8 billion crowns ($315 million) in the fourth quarter after booking provisions for nuclear waste storage in Germany and other one-off charges. Vattenfall had already taken a $3.5 billion charge in the second quarter, mainly for German lignite mines and power plants sold in September, and it ended 2016 with a record annual loss of 21.2 billion crowns. [nFWN1C60K7]
The company, which has struggled for years due to low energy prices and financially disastrous overseas expansion, said it would not pay an annual dividend to its owner, the Swedish government, for a fourth straight year……..
Vattenfall said higher provisions for future nuclear waste storage due to new legislation in Germany, which is phasing out nuclear power, accounted for 5.6 billion crowns of the 9.9 billion of net charges in the fourth quarter.

February 8, 2017 Posted by | business and costs, Sweden | Leave a comment

America’s Nuclear Submarines Now Obsolete? – new Swedish Technology

submarine,-nuclear-underwatDid Sweden Make America’s Nuclear Submarines Obsolete? The National Interest, 30 Dec 16 Nuclear-powered submarines have traditionally held a decisive edge in endurance, stealth and speed over cheaper diesel submarines. However, new Air Independent Propulsion (AIP) technology has significantly narrowed the performance gap on a new generation of submarines that cost a fraction of the price of a nuclear-powered boat……..

Nuclear vs. AIP: Who Wins?:

Broadly speaking, how do AIP vessels compare in performance to nuclear submarines?  Let’s consider the costs and benefits in terms of stealth, endurance, speed and cost.


Nuclear powered submarines have become very quiet—at least an order of magnitude quieter than a diesel submarine with its engine running.  In fact, nuclear-powered submarines may be unable to detect each other using passive sonar, as evidenced by the 2009 collision of a British and French nuclear ballistic missile submarines, both oblivious to the presence of the other.

However, there’s reason to believe that AIP submarines can, if properly designed, swim underwater even more quietly. The hydraulics in a nuclear reactor produce noise as they pump coolant liquid, while an AIP’s submarine’s engines are virtually silent. Diesel-powered submarines can also approach this level of quietness while running on battery power, but can only do so for a few hours whereas an AIP submarine can keep it up for days.

Diesel and AIP powered submarines have on more than one occasion managed to slip through anti-submarine defenses and sink American aircraft carriers in war games. Of course, such feats have also been performed by nuclear submarines.


Nuclear submarines can operate underwater for three or four months at a time and cross oceans with ease. While some conventional submarines can handle the distance, none have comparable underwater endurance.

AIP submarines have narrowed the gap, however.  While old diesel submarines needed to surface in a matter of hours or a few days at best to recharge batteries, new AIP powered vessels only need to surface every two to four weeks depending on type. (Some sources make the unconfirmed claim that the German Type 214 can even last more than 2 months.) Of course, surfaced submarines, or even those employing a snorkel, are comparatively easy to detect and attack.

Nuclear submarines still have a clear advantage in endurance over AIP boats, particularly on the long-distance patrols.  However, for countries like Japan, Germany and China that mostly operate close to friendly shores, extreme endurance may be a lower priority.

Speed:……..Obviously, high maximum speed grants advantages in both strategic mobility and tactical agility.  However, it should be kept in mind that even nuclear submarines rarely operate at maximum speed because of the additional noise produced.

 On the other hand, an AIP submarine is likely to move at especially slow speeds when cruising sustainably using AIP compared to diesel or nuclear submarines.  For example, a Gotland class submarine is reduced to just 6 miles per hour if it wishes to remain submerged at maximum endurance—which is simply too slow for long distance transits or traveling with surface ships.  Current AIP technology doesn’t produce enough power for higher speeds, and thus most AIP submarines also come with noisy diesel engines as backup.


Who would have guessed nuclear reactors are incredibly expensive?  The contemporary U.S. Virginia class attack submarine costs $2.6 billion dollars, and the earlier Los Angeles class before it around $2 billion in inflation-adjusted dollars.  Mid-life nuclear refueling costs add millions more.

By comparison, AIP powered submarines have generally cost between $200 and $600 million, meaning a country could easily buy three or four medium-sized AIP submarines instead of one nuclear attack submarine. Bear in mind, however, that the AIP submarines are mostly small or medium sized vessels with crews of around 30 and 60 respectively, while nuclear submarines are often larger with crews of 100 or more.  They may also have heavier armament, such as Vertical Launch Systems, when compared to most AIP powered vessels.

Nevertheless, a torpedo or missile from a small submarine can hit just as hard as one fired from a large one, and having three times the number of submarine operating in a given stretch of ocean could increase the likelihood chancing upon an important target, and make it easier to overwhelm anti-submarine defenses.

While AIP vessels may not be able to do everything a nuclear submarine can, having a larger fleet of submarines would be very useful in hunting opposing ships and submarines for control of the seas. Nor would it be impossible to deploy larger AIP powered submarines; China has already deployed one, and France is marketing a cheaper AIP-powered version of the Barracuda-class nuclear attack submarine.

It is no surprise that navies that operate largely around coastal waters are turning to cheap AIP submarines, as their disadvantage are not as relevant when friendly ports are close at hand. ……..

January 2, 2017 Posted by | Sweden, technology, weapons and war | 1 Comment

In Swedish storm wind power is equivalent to six nuclear power plants

Wind turbines at sunrise (Wind Data Centre)Wind power is equivalent to six nuclear power plants during Swedish storm   28 Dec 16, A hurricane-strength storm that swept through Sweden this week generated record wind power that topped at 5.7 million kWh during single hour, which is 0.5 million more than the previous record, says energy company Bixia (news release in Swedish).

Over the past three days wind power accounted for 26 percent of total electricity consumption, almost as much as six nuclear power plants, says Anders Enqvist, Director of Risk Management at Bixia.

Sweden currently has three nuclear plants with ten nuclear reactors in commercial operation, making it the only country in the world that has more than one reactor per million inhabitants, says the Swedish Institute.

In 2015 Sweden added 200 more wind turbines. More wind blows in Sweden during the winter.

December 30, 2016 Posted by | renewable, Sweden | Leave a comment

Sweden ditching taxes on solar energy, to promote fast investment in renewables

Sweden to scrap taxes on solar energy in 2017  STOCKHOLM (AFP) –  Sweden is set to ditch taxes on its production of solar energy in 2017 in a bid to run entirely on renewable energy by 2040, the government said on Monday.

Solar energy is currently marginal in the Nordic nation, accounting for less than 0.1 percent of electricity production. Sweden relies mostly on hydropower (39 percent) and nuclear power (36 percent). The finance ministry said in a statement that the production of solar electricity for own use would be entirely exempt from taxes. Electricity providers would meanwhile only be taxed 500 kronor (51 euros) per megawatt hour, which is a 98-percent reduction from the current level.

“This makes fast investments possible,” Social Democratic Finance Minister Magdalena Andersson said.

The proposal is likely to be adopted by parliament, with the centre-right opposition having criticised the minister for her lack of ambition with regards renewable energy investments.

The move must also be approved by the European Commission in Brussels, which aims to boost the EU’s share of renewable energy to at least 20 percent of consumption.

In October, the Swedish energy market regulator had estimated that in order to reach the target of 100 percent renewable energy, the share of solar electricity would have to rise to between five and 10 percent.

November 26, 2016 Posted by | renewable, Sweden | Leave a comment

The nuclear power door is only just still open in Sweden

flag-SwedenSweden’s deal leaves door to nuclear power open, but only just, Reuters STOCKHOLM, JUNE 23 | BY DANIEL DICKSON AND NERIJUS ADOMAITIS Sweden has agreed to cut taxes on nuclear power generators and allow for the construction of new reactors but policymakers have yet to work out how that fits with a commitment to using 100 percent renewable energy……..

Spokeswomen for the Energy Minister Ibrahim Baylan and for the Green Party, a junior member of the ruling coalition……….the target is formulated as electricity production… that means all production in Sweden is renewable,” Lise Nordin, Green Party energy policy spokeswoman and member of the parliament, told Reuters.

While the agreement allows power generators “in theory” to build new reactors, in reality they would be too costly, she added.

“The probability that new nuclear power will be built is zero,” Nordin said……..

June 24, 2016 Posted by | politics, Sweden | Leave a comment

Sweden’s contradiction – wants 100% renewable energy, AND to save the nuclear industry

contradictionflag-SwedenSweden has committed to 100% renewable energy by 2040 – and at the same time ‘saved nuclear power’—but-no-expiration-date-has-been-set-for-nuclear-energy-2016-6/

Business Insider Nordic   June 10, 2016 the Swedish government coalition together with a couple of the opposition parties presented a new broad agreement for Sweden’s energy consumption.

A date was set for Sweden’s energy production to be 100% renewable, but at the same time the agreement promises better conditions for Sweden’s nuclear power production: lower taxation, new facilites and no expiration date.

The agreement was presented at a press conference at which many of the involved parties emphasized the agreement as progress in the adaptation of renewable energy sources. Amongst other points an ambitious goal was set for 100% of Swedish energy consumption to come from renewable energy sources by 2040, according to Omni.

Such claims did not prevent some of the opposition parties from making the agreement out as a major victory in the dispute over the use of nuclear energy. A major tax on nuclear power was instead scrapped and no expiration date has been set, though one is often called for in the political debate.

According to SVT, Pernilla Gunther, who’s represented the Christian democratic party in the negotiations said, “With these negotiations we’ve achieved the goal of saving nuclear power, both in the long term and short term.”

Swedish nuclear power is a very controversial political topic.

The issue of nuclear power in Sweden is controversial because after the Harrisburg nuclear catastrophe a referendum in 1980 led to the decision that nuclear power should be non-existent in Sweden by 2010. The referendum has been criticized because there was no option to vote for not abolishing nuclear power.

Since then only one facility have been closed, while the Swedish parliament has approved that new facilities may be opened to replace old ones. The new agreement even allows for 10 new facilities to be built.

In this light it is not sursprising that the different parties are highlighting conflicting aspects of an agreement they all stand behind.

The problem seems to be that no sitting government is prepared to commit to abolishing nuclear power any time in the foreseeable future, though it is easy to shout demands and refer to the will of the people when in opposition. There has not been any consensus as to an alternative that is good enough, but with the new agreement perhaps there is hope.

When it comes to wind power, for example, the Liberal party left the discussions because they could not support the subsidies. Similarly the Danish government recently took a step back from the country’s wind power investment, because a ruling by the European Commission that would abolish the subsidy, along with falling prices on other sources is making wind power relatively expensive all of a sudden.

Renewable energy production is progressing, but the plan i svery ambitious.

At the same time, renewable energy production is certainly progressing and doing so according to schedule. Sweden and Norway have a joint scheme for meeting the green energy target of 28.4 terawatt-hours by 2020 and according to Reuters, the countries are set to deliver on track though Norwegian regulators may adjust the renewable quota downwards and while Swedish regulators adjust it upwards.

In any case the target is modest compared with Denmark, which already produces those amounts of renewable energy, with only a third of the population, according to Reuters. Yet Denmark has set the date of relying 100% on renewable energy to 2050. That makes the Swedish agreement saying 2040 seem very ambitious.

June 10, 2016 Posted by | politics, Sweden | Leave a comment

Sweden heads for 100% renewable energy

renewable-energy-pictureflag-SwedenSweden phases out fossil fuels in attempt to run completely off renewable energy Sweden’s prime minister announced his country will work towards becoming ‘one of the first fossil fuel-free welfare states of the world’, Independent, 25 May 16  Samuel Osborne  @SamuelOsborne93  Renewables account for over half of Sweden’s energy, while the UK has one of the lowest renewable energy shares in Europe.

In 2015, Sweden’s prime minister announced his country will work towards becoming “one of the first fossil fuel-free welfare states of the world,” in a speech to the UN General Assembly.

Between 2013 and 2014, 51.1 per cent of Sweden’s energy needs were met by renewables, according to data from Eurostat and the Renewable Energy Directive.

As the chart by Statista shows, [on original] Sweden’s renewable energy share (RES) was larger than that of many other European nations. ……

May 25, 2016 Posted by | renewable, Sweden | Leave a comment

Vattenhall nuclear corporation in financial trouble, opposes nuclear risk premium, seeks to abolish Swedish tax

radiation-sign-sadflag-SwedenVattenfall CEO says Germany’s proposed nuclear risk premium ‘too high’ Stockholm (Platts)–28 Apr 2016

* Plan ‘disproportionate’ to utilities’ economic strength
* Nuclear, hydro taxes in Sweden should be abolished

The CEO of Swedish utility Vattenfall, which has large stakes in Germany’s Brunsbuttel and Krummel nuclear plants, said the additional amount German nuclear power producers would have to pay for decommissioning and spent fuel storage under a proposed plan is “disproportionate to the economic strength of the utilities.”

The German Commission on the Review of the Financing of the Nuclear Phaseout, or KFK, recommended to the German government that nuclear utilities pay a so-called risk premium of Eur23.3 billion ($26.4 billion) into a fund for decommissioning reactors and final storage of spent fuel, which would be administered by the state.

That payment would be on top of the almost Eur40 billion in provisions that utilities have set aside to finance decommissioning and storage.

……NUCLEAR TAX  Turning to its Swedish nuclear operations, Hall again called on the government to abolish the capacity tax on nuclear power. The tax is based on the amount of electricity reactors can generate, not on actual generation.
Hall and other Swedish nuclear utility executives have said that the tax, coupled with low electricity prices, is making nuclear power unprofitable. As a result, Vattenfall plans to shut two reactors ahead of the end of their technical lifetimes………

April 29, 2016 Posted by | business and costs, politics, politics international, Sweden | Leave a comment

Arbitrary detention of Julian Assange – United Nations finding

Julian Assange arbitrarily detained by Sweden and the UK, UN expert panel finds United Nations Human Rights Office GENEVA (5 February 2016) – WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been arbitrarily detained by Sweden and the United Kingdom since his arrest in London on 7 December 2010, as a result of the legal action against him by both Governments, the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention said today.

In a public statement, the expert panel called on the Swedish and British authorities to end Mr. Assange’s deprivation of liberty, respect his physical integrity and freedom of movement, and afford him the right to compensation (Check the statement:

Mr. Assange, detained first in prison then under house arrest, took refuge in Ecuador’s London embassy in 2012 after losing his appeal to the UK’s Supreme Court against extradition to Sweden, where a judicial investigation was initiated against him in connection with allegations of sexual misconduct. However, he was not formally charged.

“The Working Group on Arbitrary Detention considers that the various forms of deprivation of liberty to which Julian Assange has been subjected constitute a form of arbitrary detention,” said Seong-Phil Hong, who currently heads the expert panel.

– See more at:

“The Working Group maintains that the arbitrary detention of Mr. Assange should be brought to an end, that his physical integrity and freedom of movement be respected, and that he should be entitled to an enforceable right to compensation,” Mr. Hong added.In its official Opinion, the Working Group considered that Mr. Assange had been subjected to different forms of deprivation of liberty: initial detention in Wandsworth Prison in London, followed by house arrest and then confinement at the Ecuadorean Embassy.

The experts also found that the detention was arbitrary because Mr. Assange was held in isolation at Wandsworth Prison, and because a lack of diligence by the Swedish Prosecutor’s Office in its investigations resulted in his lengthy loss of liberty.

The Working Group established that this detention violates Articles 9 and 10 of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights, and Articles 7, 9(1), 9(3), 9(4), 10 and 14 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

Check the Working Group’s Opinion on Julian Assange’s case (No. 54/2015), adopted in December:

The Opinions of the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention are legally-binding to the extent that they are based on binding international human rights law, such as the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). The WGAD has a mandate to investigate allegations of individuals being deprived of their liberty in an arbitrary way or inconsistently with international human rights standards, and to recommend remedies such as release from detention and compensation, when appropriate.
The binding nature of its opinions derives from the collaboration by States in the procedure, the adversarial nature of is findings and also by the authority given to the WGAD by the UN Human Rights Council. The Opinions of the WGAD are also considered as authoritative by prominent international and regional judicial institutions, including the European Court of Human Rights.


February 12, 2016 Posted by | civil liberties, Sweden, UK | Leave a comment

Britaion and Sweden rejecting UN panel’s finding on Julian Assange

 Assange,-Julian-1No release in sight despite UN panel decision. Julian Assange: ‘sweet’ victory soured by British and Swedish rejection  Founding WikiLeaks founder is being arbitrarily detained at Ecuador embassy, Guardian, ,, in Gothenberg, and  A UN panel may have found that Julian Assange is subject to “arbitrary detention” and called for him to be allowed to walk free, but the WikiLeaks founder remains exactly where he has been for the past 44 months – inside Ecuador’s London embassy and locked in a three-nation war of words.

Britain and Sweden immediately rejected the UN report, which declared that Assange had been “arbitrarily detained” since his arrest in 2010 and during his lengthy stay in the embassy, where he sought asylum in June 2012. The British foreign secretary, Philip Hammond, described the findings as “ridiculous” and the Australian as a “fugitive from justice”.

However, the panel’s findings, leaked on Thursday and published in full on Friday morning, were a welcome victory for Assange, and a moment he intended to savour fully. At 4.01pm he emerged on to the balcony of the west Londonembassy to greet a crowd of several hundred supporters and journalists, pausing first, just briefly, to glance at the sky he has rarely seen for more than three years.

“How sweet it is,” said Assange, holding aloft a copy of the UN report while supporters shouted: “We love you, Julian!” It had been, he said, “a victory of historical importance”, and a decision reached after a process to which both Britain and Sweden had made submissions. “They lost. UK lost; Sweden lost.”

The Swedish government, however, has insisted the report changes nothing, and that it cannot interfere in an independent prosecutor’s ongoing attempt to extradite Assange for questioning over an allegation of rape dating from 2010, which he denies.

Meanwhile, for Ecuador – the Australian’s (mostly) willing host – the findings meant it was time for the two countries to allow Assange to walk free, and to compensate both him and them for the lengthy period he has been holed up in one of its few rooms……

After exhausting all his legal options in the UK and Sweden some time ago, there is no question that the report represents a boost for Assange’s legal team.

Reaching their conclusion by a three-to-one majority after a fifth member recused herself, the panel called on the Swedish and British authorities to end Assange’s “deprivation of liberty”, respect his physical integrity and freedom of movement, and offer him compensation.

Assange, they found, had been unable “to access the full-intended benefit” of the asylum status granted by Ecuador, and “the continuing and disproportionate denial to him of such access … had become cumulatively harsh and disproportionate”.

In particular, the panel offered an excoriating critique of Sweden’s prosecution process, which they said had been in a state of “indefinite procrastination”. With Quito and Stockholm still unable to agree on arrangements to allow Swedish prosecutors access to the London embassy, Assange has yet to be interviewed over the alleged offences. Britain said on Thursday it was “deeply frustrated” by the deadlock.

But for all Assange’s jubilation, he remains in the embassy, the extradition warrant still stands, and Britain and Sweden remain adamant that the report changes nothing.

Assange also remains fearful of a potential future extradition to the US, where a secret grand jury has been looking into whether to prosecute him over WikiLeak’s publishing activities……..

the former chair of the UN working group, Mads Andenas, defended its finding, saying: “There is no doubt that the normal course of action for the Swedish authorities would have been to interview Assange in London. The extradition request was disproportionate…….

February 8, 2016 Posted by | civil liberties, Sweden, UK | Leave a comment

Nuclear utility Vattenfall in crisis – third consecutive annual loss

doom and gloomNuclear tax and low prices continue to impact Vattenfall, World Nuclear News, 04 February 2016 Swedish utility Vattenfall has announced a loss of SEK19.8 billion ($2.4 billion) in 2015, its third consecutive annual loss. It attributed this partly to continued low electricity prices and unprofitable Swedish nuclear power reactors…….

Vattenfall CEO Magnus Hall said, “The major challenge in 2015 continued to be the impact that today’s very low electricity prices have on Vattenfall’s profitability and the valuation of our assets. Unfortunately, combined with new regulatory requirements, this led to further write-downs, mainly on the values of Swedish nuclear power and German lignite in the summer.”

He added, “Continued falling prices and a nuclear tax corresponding to SEK0.07 per kilowatt-hour have put Swedish nuclear power in a critical situation…….

February 8, 2016 Posted by | business and costs, Sweden | Leave a comment

Sweden shutting down 2 nuclear reactors

flag-SwedenSweden’s Oskarshamn 1 and 2 reactor units to close World Nuclear News, 14 October 2015 German utility Eon has decided that units 1 and 2 of the Oskarshamn nuclear power plant in Sweden will be shut down permanently. Unit 3 is unaffected by the decision, which was announced today by OKG AB, of which the EOn group is the major shareholder…..The announcement followed an extraordinary shareholders’ meeting held earlier today and is in line with the “policy decision” EOn communicated in July. According to that policy, EOn said unit 1 would close between 2017 and 2019 and unit 2 by 2020……

There will be no future investments at unit 2 and the reactor will not be restarted. Operation of unit 1 will proceed in accordance with the established plan, meaning a decision on its shutdown will be made when the time schedule for the decommissioning phase has been prepared. The exact date when the unit will be permanently shut down is thus not yet established……

Earlier this month, the European Court of Justice ruled that Sweden can continue to tax nuclear power production, deciding that the levy does not fall within the scope of two European Council Directives and is therefore a national, rather than European Commission, matter. OKG AB had first contested the tax in 2009 in the Swedish courts….

October 16, 2015 Posted by | politics, Sweden | Leave a comment