Every once in a while somebody in Europe actually has to confront reality. In this case, it is Sweden realizing that if they decommission all their nuclear power stations they will either a) freeze or b) open lots of nice coal-fired power plants. They have been able to pretend since 1980–when they first passed their law outlawing new nuclear power plants–that they will phase out all nuclear power plants. But now its coming down to the time when they are supposed to actually shut them down.
In 1980, Sweden was on the vanguard. In that year, a referendum passed calling for a ban on the construction of new nuclear reactors in the country and the ultimate phase out of existing reactors. It was a model that was eventually emulated by Germany and seen as the way of the future.
On Thursday, the country once again took a step into the future — by abandoning the ban on new nuclear power plants. Stockholm said the move was necessary to avoid energy sources that produce vast quantities of greenhouse gases. While Sweden has been a leader in developing alternative energy sources, they still have not been enough to completely replace nuclear power, which supplies half the country’s energy.
The new proposal, presented by the country’s center-right coalition, calls for the construction of new reactors as the old ones are taken out of service. Parliament will vote on the bill on March 17.
Its always interesting how the prospect of freezing to death concentrates the mind wonderfully. Of course, the ecoNazis are going ballistic:
The decision has angered the Swedish opposition as well as environmentalists around the world. “To rely on nuclear power to reduce CO2 emissions,” Greenpeace spokeswoman Martina Kruger said, “is like smoking to lose weight. It’s not a good idea.”
There are no ideas from the ecoFreaks about how to replace 50% of your country’s energy (the amount now provided by nuclear power). Sweden subsidizes the ever-lovin’ snot out of every “renewable” energy source they can think of, and it only amounts to 14% of their energy use. And no matter how much the ecoCrazies yell, people still want things like electricity and heat and cars and food and medicine and all the things that are part of civilization today.
I have an idea. Perhaps they could breed lots and lots of little hamsters and then put them on cages and have them run around and around. And just connect generators to them and you will have non-nuclear power.