Nuclear Power in Sweden

Nuclear Power In Sweden

Sweden began research into nuclear energy in 1947 with the establishment of the Atomic Energy Company, which originated in the ongoing military research and development at the Defence Institute FOA. In 1954, the country built its first small research heavy water reactor. It was followed by two heavy water reactors: Ă…gesta, a small heat and power reactor in 1964, and Marviken which was finished but never operated, due to several safety issues. Both were heavy water reactors, motivated by the option to use Swedish uranium without isotope enrichment. The option to use plutonium from power reactors was closed only in 1968 with the signing of the Non-Proliferation Treaty. The switch to light water reactors started a few years earlier with Oskarshamn 1.

Six nuclear reactors began commercial service in the 1970s, another six through 1985, with one unit closed in 1999 and another in 2005. Nine of the reactors were designed by ASEA, three supplied by Westinghouse. Sweden has three operational nuclear power plants, with ten operational nuclear reactors, which produce about 35-40% of the country's electricity. The nation's largest power station, Ringhals Nuclear Power Plant, has four reactors and generates about 15 percent of Sweden's annual electricity consumption. The power plants in Forsmark and Oskarshamn each have three reactors.

Sweden formerly had a nuclear phase-out policy, aiming to end nuclear power generation in Sweden by 2010. On 5 February 2009, the Government of Sweden announced an agreement allowing for the replacement of existing reactors, effectively ending the phase-out policy.

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