The Forsmark nuclear power plant. The plant suffered a serious safety incident and has been shut down for investigation.
The closure of the Swedish plants has removed at a stroke
roughly 20percent of Sweden's electricity supply. Emergency power
systems to theForsmark plant failed for 20 minutes during a power
cut. If power wasnot restored there could have been a major
incident within hours.
A former director of the Forsmark plant said, "It was pure luck
thatthere was not a meltdown. Since the electricity supply from the
networkdidn't work as it should have, it could have been a
It appears that the fault in the backup power systems originates
fromnew equipment installed in 1993. Not exactly reassuring that
faultyequipment, vital for preventing a meltdown, went undetected
for 13years. The same equipment now uncovered to be faulty is also
installedon other nuclear power plants in other countries. Germany
is alreadyinvestigating if the same fault affects its nuclear
Nuclear industry propaganda has been saying that we need nuclear
powerto prevent future power cuts. But actually current nuclear
plants arevulnerable to power cuts. All nuclear plants need power
to controlthem. If mains power is lost, back up power is required
to control thereactor. This power is supplied by back up generators
but there havebeen many instances where these generators have been
found to be faultyor susceptible to storms or floods. This has
caused the temporaryclosures of nuclear plants in the US and
Cut the power to a single wind or solar farm and while they will
stopgenerating electricity for the grid at least it won't threaten
to meltdown. Nuclear power relies on old, inefficient centralised
power gridsthat are vulnerable to power cuts. Clean renewable
energy sources helpcreate more efficient decentralised power where
it is generated muchcloser to where it is used.
When the going gets hot, nuclear plants stop running
The problems with Swedish nuclear plants come hot on the heels
with nuclear power plants in Europe due to the hot dry
summer.Two nuclear plants in Germany recently had to reduce output
due to thelack of sufficient water for cooling in rivers. If the
droughtcontinues many nuclear plants that rely on rivers for
cooling waterwill have to reduce output or shut down.
Luckily Sweden plans to phase out its nuclear power plants in
thecoming years. Unfortunately a small minority of other
Europeancountries like France, Finland and the UK seem determined
to rely ondangerous, dirty and expensive nuclear power that can
fail dangerouslyduring a power cut and be shut down by
Recent events expose industry lies about nuclear being a
reliable energy source.
A combination of safe, renewable energy and energy efficiency measures are the only sanesolution for power generation.
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