Monday, May 12, 2014

Bad (Nuclear) and Worse (Hydro) in Sweden

At first, it may seem ominous:

Swedes are becoming increasingly skeptical of nuclear power with a new survey showing 50 percent of respondents want the controversial power source phased out.

The report from the SOM Institute at the University of Gothenburg found support falling for nuclear power since a meltdown at Japanese power plant. With other European nations moving away from nuclear power, Swedes are also growing leery.

Swedes have always been leery of nuclear energy – sometimes in favor, sometimes not. The country voted to close the facilities in 1980 and the government said it would do so by 1990. It then reversed the shutdown in 2010, since nothing had actually closed (well, three of thirteen reactors shut down, but not due to the referendum.). One could call the attitude of both public and government muddled – but realistic.

So a mixed reaction by this population on this energy source isn’t that surprising. This is, though:

A unique court case in northern Sweden starting on Friday could decide the fate of many small waterpower stations.

Government agencies and the local council want to close a hydro station in an environmentally protected area. Environmentalists and anglers want it shut down because they say it is bad for the environment. The agencies agree, saying the dam has collapsed and is not in use, indicating the power company has not lived up to its responsibilities.

The writer calls this unique because hydro plants have not been challenged before on environmental grounds. If the suit succeeds on that basis, it sets up a method to shutter other hydro plants. Why one would want to do that absent a collapsed dam, I’m not sure, but there we are.

Care to guess the two major sources of electricity in Sweden - and, by major, I mean almost all of it? Our lingonberry scented friends certainly like to create problems when there aren’t any.

1 comment:

jimwg said...

I really don't get it. Maybe someone can give me a clue on the faulty logic here. I can half-understand the fear and passion to kick out nuclear power had Fukushima-Daiichi wiped out thousands of lives at one shot and razed thousand of homes to the ground, but to shriek to ban nuclear power when it did neither?? What is this, some kind of morbid disillusionment? Some kind of rapture being shackled to fears of what MIGHT happen to keep you from advancing a better cleaner life? Someone needs to take a trip to Sweden and Germany and clue them in to what a REAL disaster looks like!

James Greenidge
Queens NY