A cross-party energy deal has been reached between the government and three opposition parties. Sweden will have 100 percent renewable energy by 2040, but there is not yet a deadline for the phase out of nuclear power. While the deal makes commitments to developing renewable energy, it also seemed to represent a more conservative approach to phasing out nuclear energy, the waste of which remains harmful to humans for thousands of years. “We can’t give Swedish nuclear power an early retirement,” said the Moderate Party’s energy policy spokesperson, Lars Hjälmered, at a press conference Friday. But Anna Wolf, an energy expert at the Swedish Society for Nature Conservation, told Radio Sweden that it’s unlikely another reactor could ever be built. “It’s also clear in the deal that the deal from 2009 from right-wing parties that no nuclear reactor shall ever receive governmental support, that’s also continued in this deal,” said Wolf. “And that means, if you look at the market as we interpret it, that no new reactors will be built. It’s also been announced by the big energy companies in Sweden.” The deal also means the so-called “effect tax” – an extra tax on nuclear energy – will be phased out in just a few years. The Swedish energy giant Vattenfall has lobbied vocally for the removal of the tax. But the deal also increases the penalties related to nuclear waste. And while the government had wanted a deadline for the total phase out of nuclear energy, having first argued for 2036 and later 2040, no deadline was set, a condition set by the opposition Moderates. Jonas Sjöstedt, leader of the Left Party, which had left the energy talks, was critical of the government’s concessions on nuclear power.
Radio Sweden 10th June 2016 read more »