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Sweden’s nuclear operators say new tax means earlier shutdowns via Reuters

By Nerijus Adomaitis

OSLO, Oct 29 (Reuters) – The operators of Sweden’s nuclear power plants say their older reactors may have to shut earlier than planned due to higher taxes proposed by a new coalition government.

The new left-wing government, which includes the anti-nuclear Green party, has proposed increasing taxes on nuclear power capacity by 17 percent from 2015, prompting warnings from state-run utility Vattenfall and Germany’s E.ON.

Sweden had planned to shut down older reactors over a decade span and replace them with more modern plants, but the Greens want to shut several during the current government term of office, ending in 2018. That has divided the Social Democratics, the lead party in coalition.

Nuclear reactors generate about 40 percent of electricity in Sweden and shutting down one or several could also lead to higher power prices in the Nordic region, especially during a dry year, when output from hydropower plants falls.
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Earlier decommissioning would also translate into lower payments to the Nuclear Waste Fund, which has to cover decommissioning costs and disposal of spent nuclear fuel, as operators pay fees from every kilowatt-hour produced.

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