Finland was the first country in the European Union (EU) to increase its nuclear power generation capacity after the nuclear accident at Chernobyl (Ukraine), in order to reduce its energy dependence on Russia and reduce carbon dioxide emissions, carbon (CO2).
Currently, it has five nuclear reactors with a maximum combined power of 4,394 electrical megawatts (MWe), generating about 40% of the electricity consumed.
Four of them were built in the 1970s and the fifth, Olkiluoto 3, started producing at full capacity last Monday and became the most powerful in Europe, with its 1,600 MWe.
This reactor, whose work began in 2005, became a nightmare for the contractor consortium Areva-Siemens, which completed its construction with 13 years of delay and an estimated final cost of about 11,000 million euros, almost four times more than budgeted.
In 2010, Finland approved the construction of a sixth high-power nuclear reactor to be run by the Finnish consortium Fennovoima and the Russian state company Rosatom, but the project was canceled last year after the invasion of Ukraine, due to the risks of construction. a nuclear power plant with Russian technology and participation.
In Sweden, the right-wing government chaired by the conservative Ulf Kristersson overturned the nuclear policy of this Nordic country by betting on the construction of new reactors for the first time in decades, and presented it to parliament, where it won the majority. to the support of the extreme right, a legal project that makes this measure possible.
This reform aims to solve electricity supply problems and ensure more affordable prices and has been made possible thanks to the change of heart of the Conservative Party, which just seven years ago signed an agreement to phase out nuclear energy by 2040 and switch to renewables. to bet energy.
In 2010, the Swedish parliament approved the end of the nuclear moratorium, although it was agreed that the total number of reactors could not exceed the 10 that were active at the time.
On the contrary, the new law states that there will be no limit on the number or location of new reactors, which the Government hopes to start building no later than 2026.
Sweden currently has three power stations and six active reactors, and nuclear energy covers around 30% of the country’s electricity production.
In 2021, the Polish government also announced its intention to build six nuclear power plants in the country, which currently has no reactor in operation, to ensure that, by the end of 2040, 23% of its energy comes from this source.
Currently, 70% of its energy matrix, which requires about 33 Gigawatts (GW) per year, depends on coal, which is highly polluting.
The first of the plants will be built in the region of Pomerania (north) and will have an AP1000-type reactor, from the American company Westinghouse, which is expected to produce at least 3.75 (GW) per year, while the second plant will be built with the cooperation of the South Korean company Hyundai, which obtained from it six to nine GW.
The plans of the government of Poland – which according to opinion polls have the support of 75% of Poles – predict that both plants will be operational in 2033.
For the ultra-conservative Polish government, which has favored and subsidized the mining sector for years, the nuclear power option is one of the most practical options to have a “clean” source that allows it to meet Brussels’ demands and move closer to energy independence to move