Sweden appoints world’s first “National Nuclear Power Coordinator”

Sweden previously announced its intentions to expand the amount of nuclear power used in the country with the construction of new nuclear generating capacity equivalent by 2 gigawatts (approximately two large-scale reactors) by 2035 and up to 10 gigawatts (about ten new large-scale reactors) coming online by 2045. In November, the Swedish parliament approved the bill that allows new reactors at existing and new sites starting in 2024. Now, Swedish Energy & Industry Minister Ebba Busch has taken bold action to help ensure the success of this key governmental initiative, with the appointment of Carl Berglöf as national nuclear power coordinator. 

Berglöf, who recently won the 2023 Honorary Award of the Swedish Nuclear Society in recognition of fifteen years of work in the nuclear field and who has been a nuclear advisor at the industry organisation Energiföretagen Sweden since 2017, will start his new position as national nuclear power coordinator on February 1st.

This job will involve supporting the Swedish government in its work to reach the goal of expanding nuclear power, including serving as a single point of contact with regards to nuclear matters, suggesting ways to accelerate the process, pushing for any supplementary measures that are required to get the job done, and communicating about the initiative to the public. From our perspective, this new appointment promises to be a shining example to the rest of the world about how to improve the process of managing an ambitious expansion of nuclear power, that may well include both traditional gridscale and advanced nuclear designs. 

In this capacity, Berglöf will have until 2026 to lay the foundation for the expansion approved by the Riksdag (legislature), which “shares the Government’s assessment that fossil-free electricity from nuclear power will also continue to play a role of central importance in the Swedish energy mix. The main reasons for this are an expected greater demand for electricity in combination with the fact that fossil fuels have to be phased out, particularly for climate reasons. Nuclear power also contributes to the stable and predictable functioning of the Swedish power system.”

This move is being widely applauded by the nuclear community and the world’s eyes are now on Sweden as a leading actor on the global climate stage, moving aggressively towards its decarbonization goals. Given this, we have to believe that part of Carl’s new role will be providing guidance and support to other countries seeking to make similar appointments that can help to accelerate their own pathways to decarbonizing their grids with expansions of nuclear power.

Read more at World Nuclear News “Sweden appoints national nuclear power coordinator,” January 5, 2024.

(In Swedish) Regeringskansliet, Carl Berglöf utses till nationell kärnkraftssamordnare, 04 januari 2024

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