It's the Environment, Stupid.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Swedish nuclear facilities shut-down

Sweden has been on track to reduce their reliance on oil by vamping up their renewable sources, but perhaps not enough to make up for the power lost due to the (temporary) emergency shutdown of several of the country's nuclear facilities.

A power failure last week is reported to have caused problems with back-up generators at one plant, causing a near meltdown situation. Although disaster was averted, it caused a scare, and Greenpeace called for the shut-down of their facilities. According to the Greenpeace website, four of the country's 10 plants have since been shut-down for investigation.

"The problems with Swedish nuclear plants come hot on the heels of problems with nuclear power plants in Europe due to the hot dry summer. Two nuclear plants in Germany recently had to reduce output due to the lack of sufficient water for cooling in rivers. If the drought continues many nuclear plants that rely on rivers for cooling water will have to reduce output or shut down.

Luckily Sweden plans to phase out its nuclear power plants in the coming years. Unfortunately a small minority of other European countries like France, Finland and the UK seem determined to rely on dangerous, dirty and expensive nuclear power that can fail dangerously during a power cut and be shut down by droughts."

Although nuclear will be part of our future energy solution, we must not forget that these power producing facilities themselves require water and energy to operate successfully - two things that have come under pressure during this summer's recent heat wave.

Via TreeHugger and Scoop, Independent News.

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