It was a close call, but Sweden’s parliament on Thursday approved by 174 votes to 172 (with three absentees) a government proposal to overturn a 30-year moratorium on nuclear power. (AFP)
The moratorium, which dates back to 1980, had committed the government to shutting existing plants and banned the building of new ones. Ten reactors still supply the country with nearly half of its electricity.
The new policy, proposed by the coalition government in February 2009, annuls the phase-out and allows for the construction of replacements only for the ten existing reactors, which are at three sites. The government thinks that nuclear power stations will be needed to meet the nation’s goal of no net greenhouse-gas emissions by 2050.
The nuclear reactor replacement plan is set to take effect from 1 January 2011. But the centre-left opposition are firmly against it. “Of course we will tear it up,” the BBC quotes Tomas Eneroth from the Social Democratic Party. Elections are due in September.