From STOP THESE THINGS
Nordics are renowned for their practical, common sense, which is why the likes of Sweden and Finland are backing nuclear power like their nations depend on it.
When Finland fired up its 1,600MW Olkiluoto 3 nuclear plant in April this year, power users were bound to notice that average spot electricity prices dropped from €245.98 per MWh in December to €60.55 per MWh hour in April.
The Swedes, not to be outdone, have ditched their impossible to meet 100% renewable energy target (simply because it was premised on adding ever-increasing intermittent wind and solar capacity). Instead, Sweden has determined to build 10 large-scale nuclear plants, and looks set to lift a ban on uranium mining to allow it to access its own fuel supply, independent of Russia.
All sensible stuff, as the pieces below attest.
Sweden to lift parliamentary ban on uranium mining
21 August 2023
Sweden’s Climate Minister Romina Pourmokhtari has announced plans to lift the country’s ban on uranium mining and make way for greater nuclear energy capacity.
The Swedish Parliament has shown majority support for a lift on the ban, according to Pourmokhtari.
The government plans to build at least ten large reactors in the next 20 years to meet the demand for low-carbon energy. Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson told reporters in January that the government is “changing the legislation”, which will increase nuclear investment in the country.
Swedish ministers decided to phase out nuclear generation in 1980 and have historically taken an anti-nuclear stance. However, this policy was repealed in June 2010. Pourmokhtari is a public advocate of nuclear generation and says it should form a part of Sweden’s future energy mix.
“The government is aiming at doubling electricity production in 20 years,” Pourmokhtari told The Times this weekend.
“For our clean power system to function, a large part of this has to be dispatchable where nuclear power is the only non-fossil option. Nuclear power also has a reduced environmental footprint and requires limited resources in comparison with most energy sources.”
Uranium mining has become a point of concern for Europe’s nuclear industry as Russia dominates the processing of the fuel. Following the country’s invasion of Ukraine last year, the EU has sought to reduce its energy dependence on Moscow.
Kazakhstan, however, is by far the largest uranium miner. According to the World Nuclear Association, the country produced the largest share of mined uranium (43% of the global supply) in 2022, followed by Canada (15%) and Namibia (11%).
The European Parliament has been the site of heated debate over the role of nuclear generation in a net-zero future. France, which generates around 70% of its energy from nuclear sources, has been vocally pro-nuclear. Meanwhile, Germany, which has shut down its final three nuclear power stations this year, says that the fuel is not renewable.
Sweden accounts for 80% of the EU’s uranium deposits and already extracts uranium as a waste product when mining for other metals.
Sweden Goes Nuclear
19 August 2023
Sweden is making a major move into nuclear energy:
Uranium mining is set to return to mainland Europe as the region seeks alternatives to Russian nuclear fuel and Sweden pushes to treble its atomic energy capacity, the country’s climate minister has said.
Sweden has lots of uranium:
Romina Pourmokhtari, who last year became the youngest cabinet minister in Swedish history at the age of 26, said there was a parliamentary majority behind lifting Sweden’s ban on uranium extraction and opening up by far the largest deposits in the European Union.
As we have been saying for a long time, if you are serious about considering carbon dioxide a threat (I’m not), then the only alternative is nuclear energy:
Nearly 40 years after the completion of the country’s last new nuclear power plant, Pourmokhtari has announced plans to build at least ten large reactors to meet an anticipated surge in demand for zero-carbon power.
“The government is aiming at doubling electricity production in 20 years,” Pourmokhtari said. “For our clean power system to function, a large part of this has to be dispatchable [i.e., reliable] where nuclear power is the only non-fossil option. Nuclear power also has a reduced environmental footprint and requires limited resources in comparison with most energy sources.”
In recent years, Sweden has led the way on several issues. But why don’t environmentalists in the U.S. turn to nuclear power? Because their real aim is not to reduce CO2 emissions, it is to funnel trillions of dollars away from industries that generally don’t support the Democratic Party, toward industries–wind, solar, and utilities that put profit above their ratepayers’ interests–that do support the Democratic Party. Our mad drive toward “green” energy will impoverish the middle class, but that is OK, since the middle class doesn’t vote Democratic anyway. And people will die, but since when is that a concern?
Whether the American Left’s refusal to embrace nuclear energy is irrational depends on what you assume their objectives are.