E.ON decides to close reactors

At an extraordinary shareholders’ meeting on Wednesday, E.ON made a final decision to close two nuclear reactors at the Oskarshamn power plant.

One of the reactors has already been shut down and will not be re-started while the second reactor will close some time between 2017 and 2019. Oskarshamn’s third reactor, which is the newest, will be kept in operation until 2045.

Low electricity prices and the introduction of the nuclear capacity tax lie behind the decision to close the reactors.

And, at another extraordinary shareholders’ meeting to be held later today, E.ON and Vattenfall will discus the timeframe for the closure of two reactors at Ringhals. Vattenfall has said they should be closed by 2020, but E.ON has said it needs more time.

Following yesterday’s decision, Lars Hjälmered, the Moderates’ spokesman on energy policy, has slammed the government’s energy policy, suggesting it lacks long-term predictability.

E.On seeks early closure of reactors

Germany’s E.On, which owns 54.5% of nuclear power plant operator OKG, announced yesterday that low electricity prices and high maintenance costs associated with the Oskarshamn reactors 1 and 2 meant that it was seeking to close both units. Minority owner Fortum opposes the decision.

The news, which comes just two months after Swedish state-owned utility Vattenfall said it was seeking the early closure of the Ringhals 1 and 2 reactors, could leave Sweden with just six reactors.

Sweden’s centre-left government has increased taxes on nuclear power capacity since it came to power, from 6 to 7 öre per kilowatt-hour. It has been estimated that OKG will pay SKr 1 billion annually in capacity tax, revenue that the Treasury can no longer count on.

Commenting the news, Ibrahim Baylan, the energy minister, says it is vital that cross-party agreement is reached on a long-term solution.

Meanwhile, the Moderates have requested that Baylan be summoned to appear before the parliamentary commission on the constitution.

“In recent months we have received news that four reactors will close. Obviously this will have a major impact on businesses and jobs,” says Lars Hjälmared, the Moderate spokesman on energy policy.