Sweden - Plutonium Investigation n°14/15

Nuclear Imports and Exports

    Sweden has sought to use foreign reprocessors to deal with its spent fuel burden having decided to abandon plans for an indigenous closed nuclear fuel management strategy. Contracts were placed in 1969 with BNFL in the UK and on 19 April 1977 and 16 March 1978 with COGEMA in France, for the reprocessing of 140 tonnes of spent fuel at the UK plant, and around 677 (57t + 620 t) tonnes at the French facility. The reprocessing of the Oskarshamn fuel was completed in autumn 1997, and has left 833 kg of plutonium in store at Sellafield, which the OKG company wants to convert to MOX fuel - to be loaded into its power plant after 2003. The fact that the reprocessing had been actually carried out and that Sweden - though having defined an outspoken anti-plutonium policy - was now owning a substantial quantity of separated plutonium abroad came as a total surprise to Swedish parliamentarians and the public. Plutonium Investigation's chief editor Mycle Schneider disclosed the fact during his speech at the Swedish Parliament when he received the Right Livelihood Award (Alternative Nobel Prize) in December 1997. A formal license application to use MOX fuel filed by OKG is currently being studied by Government. According to an OKG spokesperson interviewed by Plutonium Investigation at the end of June 1999, no decision is expected before autumn 1999.

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