(Updated 2014)


1.1. Country overview

Note: The content of this section, including Tables 1 and 2, has been removed by the IAEA to better focus the report on nuclear power.

1.2. Energy Information

Sweden’s energy requirements are covered both by domestic energy, in the form of hydropower, wind power, ambient heat for heat pumps and wood fuels including municipal waste and residues from the forestry industry (wood chips, bark and black liquor), and by imported energy, primarily oil, nuclear fuel, coal and natural gas (see Table 4). Originally, all energy supply was domestic, primarily through wood and hydropower. However, during the 19th century, coal began to be imported. Coal came to play an important role up until World War II, when oil and hydropower together became the base of the energy supply. The first oil crisis in 1973 demonstrated the risk of being dependent upon oil.

In the 1960s, the decision was made to invest in nuclear power, but it would take until the mid-1970s before nuclear energy had a significant impact on the energy system. Through the 1980s and onwards, nuclear power and domestic fuels (biomass) were the primary sources of energy in Sweden’s oil-substitution programme, in addition to energy efficiency measures. Since 1973, the share of oil used in the energy supply has decreased from 71% to 28% in 2012. During the same period, the use of nuclear power (fuel input as share of total energy supply) increased from 1% to 31%.

Total energy supply varies from one year to another due to a number of factors, including variations in temperature and precipitation. Years that are warmer than the “average year” result in a reduced need for energy supplies, while colder years increase the need.

In comparison with the international situation as a whole, Sweden obtains a relatively large proportion of its energy supplies from renewable energy sources, in the form of biofuels, hydropower and wind power. In 2012, 51% of the total energy used came from renewable energy sources, according to the calculation method of the renewables directive (2009/28/EC).

1.2.1. Estimated available energy

The two main domestic energy sources exploited are hydropower and bioenergy. Wind power is rapidly expanding, heat pumps capture significant amounts of free heat from the environment (ground, air and water) and peat provides another domestic source of energy.

There are four big rivers that are protected from hydro power construction under Swedish law, together with a number of smaller rivers and stretches of rivers and can therefore not be seen as potential renewable energy.

Sweden possesses large amounts of low-grade uranium. However, the uranium content in the ore is low or very low. According to OECD/NEA and IAEA statistics Sweden’s share of the world’s total quantity of uranium that can be extracted is less than 1%. The economic incentives to exploit such low grade uranium ores have not sufficed, and so no uranium mines are operated in Sweden. All nuclear fuel is therefore imported.

Most hydro power is located in the north of the country, and the electricity is transported to the south by several large 400 kV lines. All the nuclear power plants are in the southern part of Sweden. Because of the abundance of rivers and lakes, all thermal power plants (nuclear or conventional) are cooled by sea, lake or river water.


Estimated available energy sources
Fossil Fuels Nuclear Renewables
Solid Liquid Gas Uranium Hydro Other
Total amount in specific units* 40001) 1302)
Total amount in Exajoule (EJ)

* Solid, Liquid: Million tons; Gas: Billion m3; Uranium: Metric tons; Hydro, Renewable: TWh

1)Reasonably Assured Resources (RAR under

2) TWh/year, estimated exploitable capability

Source: Uranium 2007: Resources, Production and demand. OECD/NEA & IAEA 2008; Survey of Energy Resources 2010, World Energy Council

1.2.2. Energy Statistics


Average annual growth rate (%)
1970 1980 1990 2000 2005 2010 2012* 2000 to year*
Energy consumption**
- Total 1.59 1.71 2.00 1.99 2.18 2.07 2.14 0.60
- Solids*** 0.08 0.07 0.11 0.11 0.11 0.11 0.08 -1.91
- Liquids 1.22 0.97 0.67 0.56 0.62 0.55 0.51 -0.70
- Gases 0.000 0.000 0.018 0.029 0.035 0.063 0.044 3.23
- Nuclear 0.00 0.29 0.72 0.63 0.79 0.60 0.70 0.89
- Hydro 0.15 0.21 0.26 0.28 0.26 0.24 0.28 -0.03
- Other
0.12 0.17 0.23 0.35 0.38 0.51 0.51 3.00
Energy production
- Total 0.27 0.67 1.21 1.29 1.46 1.36 1.51 1.32
- Solids*** 0.000 0.000 0.000 0.010 0.013 0.008 0.007 -3.00
- Liquids 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0,00 0.00 0.00
- Gases 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
- Nuclear 0.00 0.29 0.72 0.63 0.79 0.60 0.70 0.96
- Hydro 0.15 0.21 0.26 0.28 0.62 0.24 0.28 -0.03
- Other
0.12 0.17 0.23 0.35 0.38 0.51 0.51 3.25
Net import (Import - Export)
- Total 1.32 1.04 0.80 0.70 0.73 0.72 0.63 -0.86

* Latest available data

** Energy consumption = Primary energy consumption + Net import (Import - Export) of secondary energy.

*** Solid fuels include coal, lignite

Source: IEA, Eurostat, Statistics Sweden, Swedish Energy Agency

1.2.3. Energy policy

In both the long and the short term, the objective of Swedish energy policy is to ensure reliable supplies of electricity and other forms of energy to carriers at prices that are competitive with those of other countries. It is intended to create the right conditions for cost-efficient Swedish energy supply and efficient energy use, with minimum adverse effects on health, the environment or the climate. The Swedish government also promotes the concept of an eco-efficient economy, strongly advocating energy efficiency, green energy and low carbon technologies as positive drivers, not costs, for welfare and growth.

In the spring of 2009, the Swedish government presented a new and comprehensive energy and climate policy, which was approved by Parliament in June 2009. This integrated energy and climate policy is strongly influenced by the common European Union policies in those same areas. In several instances, the Swedish policies are more ambitious than the targets set by the EU.

Targets for 2020 include a 40% reduction (compared to 1990 levels) of climate gas emissions in the non-ETS sector (which is more ambitious than the EU target for Sweden, of a decrease of 17% compared to 2005 levels), 50% renewable energy (EU obligation: 49%), 20% higher energy efficiency, and 10% renewable energy in the transport sector (common binding EU target). In addition, the European Union has called for the ETS sector to reduce its emissions by 21% by 2020. The overall European Union target for climate gas emission reductions is 20% by 2020, and the EU has committed to a reduction of 30% if other industrialized countries/regions adopt goals of a similar magnitude.

In addition to these medium-term goals, the Swedish government has set the goal for a vehicle stock that is “independent” of fossil fuels by the year 2030, and aims for fossil fuels to have been totally removed from the heating sector by 2020, with visions that Swedish net-emissions might reach zero by 2050.

Operationally, these visions, goals and targets have been translated into three action plans that are further developed by responsible authorities (e.g. the Swedish Energy Agency and the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency):

  1. Action plan for renewable energy, which includes an increase in the ambitions within the electricity certificate system to a level of approximately 25 TWh of new renewable electricity by 2020, and introduces increased ambitions when it comes to finding suitable locations for wind power – meaning that local governments should have the readiness to introduce a total of 20 TWh wind power on shore and 10 TWh wind power off shore. Sweden and Norway have operated a joint electricity certificate market since the beginning of 2012. Renewable electricity production that is approved by the system receives electricity certificates that can be used in both countries. The target of the joint electricity certificate market is to increase renewable electricity production by 26.4 TWh between 2012 and 2020.

  2. Action plan for energy efficiency, which is focused on fulfilling the Energy Services Directive and other directives in the energy efficiency domain, including Eco-design, Energy Labelling, Energy Performance of buildings, etc. primarily by raising awareness but also by introducing energy efficiency programmes targeted towards the industry (especially SMEs) and service sector companies. Heavy industry is already taking part in a voluntary agreement programme as well as, in most cases, the EU-ETS system.

  3. Action plan for a vehicle fleet independent of fossil fuels, where economic incentives will play the major role, e.g. CO2 taxes penalising the use of fossil fuels and tax rebates for environmentally friendly vehicles. In addition, blending of renewables into petrol and diesel will increase to levels approved (10% ethanol in petrol and 7% FAME in diesel) by the European Fuel Quality Directive. The Government, via the Swedish Energy Agency and other actors, has also boosted energy- and climate-related transport sector research and development, aiming at e.g. increasing the share of electricity for transportation purposes. The government is also allocating considerable funding for the continued development of second generation biofuels, e.g. through gasification of biomass and black liquor and cellulosic ethanol.

The Government also stresses the importance of efficient energy markets, and promotes the further development of common electricity and gas markets, both in the North European and the pan-European context. For Swedish conditions, gas markets should be developed in a way that promotes the further introduction of biogas. The Government also stresses the importance of CHP, which is already well developed both in district heating and in industry.

Nuclear power will continue to play an important role in the Swedish energy system. From 2011, new reactors may be installed on locations where nuclear power plants are currently in operation. The total number of reactors may not exceed ten, i.e. that of today.

1.3. The electricity system

1.3.1. Electricity policy and decision making process

The Swedish electricity market was deregulated on 1 January 1996. The electricity market is thus characterised by the fact that the distribution networks are open to all economic actors and that there is an unbundling of companies in the sector, separating grid services from production and/or sales. The distribution networks constitute a natural monopoly, and the network operation is supervised by the Energy Markets Inspectorate, which also grants permission for the installation of power lines as well as issuing line concessions.

1.3.2. Structure of electric power sector

Electricity production started early in Sweden. The first generating plants, based on hydropower, were established in the 1880s. They were small and intended to supply power to industries and communities in close vicinity. Hundreds of small hydroelectric power stations were constructed. As the technique of transferring power over longer distances developed, it became possible to exploit the larger rivers for distribution of power to the south of the country.

Many of the companies which are responsible for the power supply today were formed at this time. The Government became engaged in the production and distribution of power at this stage. In 1906, Parliament granted funds for the first state-owned hydropower project, and in 1909, the Swedish State Power Board (now Vattenfall AB) was formed. Since that time, the production of power has been divided almost equally between the Government, through the Swedish State Power Board (Vattenfall AB), and power companies, owned by industries, municipalities and other non-governmental bodies.

Since the restructuring of the industry, there have been a number of changes with respect to ownership of the production utilities in the Nordic countries. Vattenfall AB, Fortum and E.ON dominate electricity production, trade and distribution in Sweden. On the common Nordic market as a whole, Swedish Vattenfall AB, Finnish Fortum, Norwegian Statkraft and German E.ON are the major players.

The Electrical Producers

Electricity is generated in plants owned by the state, the municipalities, industries and private companies. Additionally, a small amount of power is generated in small-scale privately-owned wind power and hydropower plants. All in all, the state owns approximately 40% of the generating capacity, with overseas owners holding approximately 40%, the municipalities approximately 13% and others approximately 8%.

Mergers and acquisitions have gradually reduced the number of large producers, during the last 20 years. Through this structural rationalisation, the generation of electricity has become strongly concentrated. The three largest power companies accounted for approximately 79% of Sweden's overall electricity generation during 2012.

The Nordic market is merged together in the world's first international commodity exchange for electrical power. Nord Pool Spot organises trade in standardised physical power contracts to Nordic and northern European participants. Financial contracts are traded on Nasdaq OMX Commodities. These exchanges play a key role as part of the infrastructure of the Nordic electricity power market, and thereby provide an efficient, publicly known price of electricity, both in the spot and the derivatives market.

The Transmission of Power

The transmission of power from power plants to customers takes place in the interconnected electricity network. The network is normally divided into three levels: the high-voltage grid and the regional and local networks.

The utility Svenska Kraftnät is responsible for the high-voltage grid, which includes the 220 kV and 400 kV lines, as well as the bulk of the links with neighbouring countries. The regional networks are owned and operated by 5 large power companies’ network companies, and generally include lines of 20-130 kV.

The local networks are owned and operated by 168 (as of 2012) network companies, and normally include lines of a maximum of 20 kV. The number of local network companies is gradually decreasing due to the continuing structural rationalisation of network operations. When network companies become larger, this often entails the local and regional networks being coordinated within the same network company.

The total length of the power lines in Sweden is 538,000 km, of which 59% are underground cables. The number of customers connected to the network is 5.2 million.

1.3.3. Main indicators

Today, most of Sweden’s electricity is produced by hydropower or nuclear power. In 2012, the country produced 166 TWh, of electricity, of which 47% was produced by hydropower and 39% by nuclear power, while thermal power production (primarily CHP using biomass/black liquor, municipal waste or peat) accounted for about 10%. Oil-fired cold condensing power plants and gas turbines are only and rarely used as reserve capacity, during years with low precipitation and resulting low hydropower production. Restructuring of the electricity market has resulted in several reserve power stations being taken out of use for economic reasons. There are also more than 2 385 wind power plants in the country (as of December 2012). However, their contribution to the electricity supply is still small, supplying about 4.3% during 2012.

The total installed capacity of the Swedish electricity production system was 37.35 GW in December 2012. However, 100% capacity is never available, and transmission capacity between the north and south of the country is limited. The normal transmission capacity means that 7 600 MW (including the 130 kV grid) can be transferred from north to central Sweden, and 5 300 MW from central to southern Sweden. Table 5 shows the historical electricity production data and the installed capacities of electrical plants. Table 6 presents energy related ratios.


Average annual growth rate (%)
1970 1980 1990 2000 2005 2010 2012* 2000 to year*
Capacity of electrical plants (GWe)
- Thermal 4.44 7.95 7.82 7.53 7.42 8.19 8.02 0.53
- Hydro 10.86 14.86 16.33 16.53 16.35 16.2 16.2 -0.17
- Nuclear 0.06 4.61 9.97 9.42 9.47 9.15 9.36 -0.05
- Wind 0.00 0.00 0.01 0.21 0.45 2.16 3.75 27.14
- Geothermal 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
- other renewable 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
- Total 15.36 27.42 34.13 33.69 33.69 35.71 37.35 0.86
Electricity production (TW.h)
- Thermal 19.05 10.96 5.28 9.19 12.25 20.8 15.99 4.72
- Hydro 41.54 58.87 73.04 78.62 72.87 66.83 78.5 -0.01
- Nuclear 0.06 26.49 68.19 57.32 72.38 55.63 64.22 0.95
- Wind 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.46 0.94 3.47 7.12 25.64
- Geothermal 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
- other renewable 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
- Total(1) 60.65 96.32 146.51 145.59 158.44 146.72 165.82 1.09
Total Electricity consumption (TW.h) 63.50 94.60 139.95 146.63 147.10 146.90 143.00 -0.21

(1) Electricity transmission losses are not deducted.

* Latest available data

Source: IEA, Eurostat, Swedish Energy Agency


1970 1980 1990 2000 2005 2010 2012*
Energy consumption per capita (GJ/capita) 197 205 233 224 241 220 224
Electricity consumption per capita (kW.h/capita) 7 858 11 373 16 291 16 507 16 258 15 602 14 965
Electricity production/Energy production (%) 80 52 44 41 39 39 40
Nuclear/Total electricity (%) 0 28 47 39 46 38 39
Ratio of external dependency (%)(1) 83 61 40 35 33 35 30

(1) Net import / Total energy consumption.

* Latest available data

Source: IEA, Eurostat, Statistics Sweden, Swedish Energy Agency


2.1. Historical development and current organizational structure

2.1.1. Overview

Nuclear technology was introduced in Sweden in 1947, when AB Atomenergi was formed to carry out a development programme decided upon by the Parliament. The first research reactor (R1) went critical in 1954. This was followed by the establishment of a nuclear research centre at the Studsvik site, which was set up with reactors and special laboratories for chemistry, physics, as well as thermal engineering, materials and fuel technology. The first prototype nuclear power reactor, Agesta (PHWR), was located in a rock cavern in a suburb of Stockholm. The Agesta reactor was mainly used for district heating, and operated from 1964 until 1974 when it was permanently shut down. The first commercial nuclear power reactor, Oskarshamn 1, was commissioned in 1972, and was followed by another eleven units sited at Barsebäck, Oskarshamn, Ringhals and Forsmark, and started operation between 1975 and 1985. The twelve commercial reactors constructed in Sweden comprise nine BWRs (ASEA-ATOM design) and three PWRs (Westinghouse design).

The public acceptance of nuclear power declined after the accident at Three Mile Island nuclear power plant which led to a referendum on nuclear power in Sweden in 1980. As a result of the referendum, the Government decided in 1980, that there should be 12 nuclear power reactors in Sweden and that a nuclear power phase-out should be completed by 2010. Additionally, in 1981 the Government decided that the Barsebäck units should implement severe accident mitigation systems, including containment filtered venting system. Shortly after the Chernobyl accident in 1986, the question about the future of nuclear energy in Sweden was once again raised, resulting in a new legislation in 1987, which prohibited construction of new nuclear power plants in Sweden. In 1998 it was decided that the twin BWR units Barsebäck 1 and 2 should be permanently shut down in 1999 and 2005, respectively. During the early 2000 the public and political acceptance of nuclear power had shifted and the legislation was changed in 2010 enabling replacements of the remaining 10 units.

In 2004, Studsvik Nuclear decided to permanently shut down the two research reactors (R2 and R2-0) at the Studsvik site. They were closed in June 2005. The decision was taken based on economic grounds; the licenses had recently been extended until 2014, subject to certain conditions. These reactors were mainly used for commercial materials testing purposes, isotope production, and as a neutron source for research purposes, medical applications and higher education. They are currently under decommissioning.

Figure 1 provides an overview of the main decisions, rationale, and events related to the implementation and development of the nuclear programme.


2.1.2. Current organizational chart(s)

The restructuring of the European nuclear power industry, caused by the deregulation and widening of the electrical power markets, has brought about an internationalisation of the two Swedish utilities which were dominant for many years: Vattenfall AB and Sydkraft AB. Vattenfall AB has acquired large power production assets outside of Sweden, including co-ownership of four German nuclear power plants, and in 2013, operations were conducted in the Nordic countries, Germany, the Netherlands, France and the UK. The major German utility, E.ON, has acquired all shares in Sydkraft AB. As a result, Sydkraft AB has changed its name to E.ON Sverige AB. The Finnish utility Fortum, owner of the Loviisa nuclear power plant, has established itself as a big owner on the Swedish market, with a large share of Oskarshamn nuclear power plant. The result is a large amount of cross-ownership of the Swedish nuclear power plants, as shown in Figure 2.


2.2. Nuclear power plants: Overview

2.2.1. Status and performance of nuclear power plants

At present, as of August 2014, there are 10 nuclear power reactors in operation in Sweden, as shown in Figure 3 and in Table 7. Three power reactors have been permanently shut down, namely Agesta, Barsebäck 1 and Barsebäck 2. All the BWRs were designed by the domestic vendor ASEA-ATOM (later ABB Atom, now Westinghouse Electric Sweden AB) and all the PWRs, except Agesta, were designed by Westinghouse USA.



Reactor Unit Type Net
Status Operator Reactor
First Grid
FORSMARK-1 BWR 984 Operational FKA ABBATOM 1973-06-01 1980-04-23 1980-06-06 1980-12-10 79.8
FORSMARK-2 BWR 1120 Operational FKA ABBATOM 1975-01-01 1980-11-16 1981-01-26 1981-07-07 91.8
FORSMARK-3 BWR 1167 Operational FKA ABBATOM 1979-01-01 1984-10-28 1985-03-05 1985-08-18 57.8
OSKARSHAMN-1 BWR 473 Operational OKG ABBATOM 1966-08-01 1970-12-12 1971-08-19 1972-02-06 61.3
OSKARSHAMN-2 BWR 638 Operational OKG ABBATOM 1969-09-01 1974-03-06 1974-10-02 1975-01-01 0.0
OSKARSHAMN-3 BWR 1400 Operational OKG ABBATOM 1980-05-01 1984-12-29 1985-03-03 1985-08-15 81.2
RINGHALS-1 BWR 881 Operational RAB ABBATOM 1969-02-01 1973-08-20 1974-10-14 1976-01-01 77.7
RINGHALS-2 PWR 904 Operational RAB WH 1970-10-01 1974-06-19 1974-08-17 1975-05-01 0.0
RINGHALS-3 PWR 1063 Operational RAB WH 1972-09-01 1980-07-29 1980-09-07 1981-09-09 86.5
RINGHALS-4 PWR 1118 Operational RAB WH 1973-11-01 1982-05-19 1982-06-23 1983-11-21 80.7
AGESTA PHWR 10 Permanent Shutdown SVAFO ABBATOM 1957-12-01 1963-07-17 1964-05-01 1964-05-01 1974-06-02
BARSEBACK-1 BWR 600 Permanent Shutdown BKAB ASEASTAL 1971-02-01 1975-01-18 1975-05-15 1975-07-01 1999-11-30
BARSEBACK-2 BWR 600 Permanent Shutdown BKAB ABBATOM 1973-01-01 1977-02-20 1977-03-21 1977-07-01 2005-05-31
Data source: IAEA - Power Reactor Information System (PRIS).
Note: Table 7 is completely generated from PRIS data to reflect the latest available information and may be more up to date than the text of the report.

Eight of the power reactors (including Barsebäck 1 and 2) were uprated during the period 1982-1989, by 6-10 % of the original licensed power levels, see TABLE 8:. In recent years, uprating plans have been launched for several NPPs (see Section 2.2.2).

Of the total electrical power production in Sweden (162 444 GWh(e) in 2012), nuclear power contributed 61 393 GWh(e), which is about 38%. The share normally varies between 41 and 49%, as shown on Figure 4. The energy availability factor 2013 was 81.9% and the unit capability factor (2008 to 2012) 83.5%, as shown on Figure 5. The unplanned capability loss factor was 3.7%, as shown on Figure 5 - Source: PRIS database (www.iaea.org/pris).

Source: Statistics Sweden (SCB)


Source: PRIS database (www.iaea.org/pris).


During 2013, one incidents have been classified as Level 1 events according to the INES-scale. Since 1991 there have been 94 INES 1 events and 10 INES 2 events in Sweden, as shown in Figure 6. The strainer clogging event in Barsebäck in 1992 and the electrical event in Forsmark 2006, included in Figure 1, were both rated INES 2.

Source: Swedish Radiation Safety Authority


Further information regarding performance data of individual reactors can be found in the IAEA Power Reactor Information System (PRIS).

2.2.2. Plant upgrading, plant life management and license renewals

In Sweden, major investments are being made to increase safety, reduce environmental impact, upgrade and extend the lifetime of existing plants. In the years ahead, continued investments are planned primarily in safety and physical protection upgrades, capacity increases and continued modernisation and other refurbishing, so that the 10 remaining operating reactors can be in operation for 40 years and beyond. The investment analyses for planned modernisations are based on operational life times of 50-60 years, although investments will be profitable even with life times of 40 years.

The ongoing modernisation and safety upgrades of the Swedish reactors are based on the general regulations on design and construction of nuclear power reactors, issued by the Swedish regulatory authority in 2005. These regulations are based on Swedish and international operating experience, recent safety analyses, results from research and development projects and the development of IAEA safety standards and industrial standards that were applied in the construction of the facilities. The programmes primarily address the following safety areas:

  • physical and functional separation

  • diversification of safety functions

  • accident management capability

  • protection against local dynamic effects from pipe breaks

  • protection against external events

  • operator aids and tools

  • environmental qualification and surveillance

Due to the fact that many measures have proven to be more extensive and complex than expected, the original time schedules for the modernization programmes have been extended to the end of 2015.

Following the severe accident at the Fukushima Daiichi NPP in 2011, safety re-assessments were performed for all Swedish NPP. With the aim to further strengthen the safety of the Swedish NPP and to implement the results of the safety re-evaluations and other lessons learned from the accident in Fukushima Daiichi, a Swedish national action plan was developed in 2012.

In parallel with the modernisation programmes, licensees have applied for power uprates of eight reactors. In total, these ongoing power uprate programmes will add approximately 1,230 MW(e) to current nuclear power production capacity as shown in TABLE 8: and Figure 7.

The operating license, issued by the Government, stipulates the highest allowed thermal power level. The license only applies up to this power level. To further increase the power level, the licensee has to apply to the Government for a new license in accordance with the Act (1984:3) on Nuclear Activities.

Nine of the power reactors (including Barsebäck 1 and 2) were uprated during the period 1982-1989 by between 6-10 % from the original licensed thermal power levels. This was possible due to better use of existing margins, better methods of analysis and improved fuel design. Major plant modifications were not necessary. The ongoing programmes for power uprates include major uprates of seven reactors and a minor uprate of one reactor. The major uprates will be possible due to modification and/or replacements of components, in particular measures taken on the conventional side such as replacements of main turbines, generators and transformers.


Reactor Original power level Current power level Planned power level Total thermal
Thermal Electrical gross output Thermal Electrical gross output Thermal Electrical gross output
F1 2711 900 2928 1020 2928 1020 8
F2 2711 900 32531) 1157 3253 1157 20
F3 3020 1100 3300 1206 3300 1206 9
O1 1375 460 1375 492 1375 492 0
O2 1700 580 1800 661 2300 840 35
O3 3020 1100 39002) 1450 3900 1450 29
R1 2270 750 25403) 887 2540 887 12
R2 2440 785 2652 900 2660 900 9
R3 2783 915 31354) 1117 3135 1117 13
R4 2783 915 2775 981 3300 1140 19
Total 24813 8405 27658 9871 28691 10209

F= Forsmark, O= Oskarshamn, R= Ringhals

1) F2 was power uprated to 3253 MWth in 2012.

2) O3 was power uprated to 3900 MWth in 2009.

3) R1 was power uprated to 2540 MWth in 2007.

4) R3 was power uprated to 3135 MWth in 2009.

Source: PRIS database (www.iaea.org/pris).


2.3. Future development of Nuclear Power

2.3.1. Nuclear power development strategy

On 1 January 2011, amendments were made to the Act (1984:3) on Nuclear Activities and the Environmental Code (1998:808) to make it possible to gradually replace existing nuclear power reactors with new ones. One precondition for obtaining permission to construct new reactors in Sweden is that the new reactor must replace one of the older reactors that have been permanently shut down. The new nuclear power reactors may only be constructed at one of the sites where the present reactors are in operation. This legislation is to enable controlled generational shifts in Swedish nuclear power. Also, the Nuclear Power Phase-Out Act (1997:1320) was abolished and the prohibitions in the Act (1984:3) on Nuclear Activities on the construction of new nuclear power reactors removed.

An application for a licence to construct, own and operate a nuclear facility consisting of one or two nuclear power reactors with adjacent facilities was presented to the Swedish Radiation Safety Authority in July 2012. The applicant, Vattenfall AB, intends according to the application, to investigate the possibilities to replace old units with new capacity from operation by 2025 - 2035. In January 2014, Vattenfall AB also initiated an early official consultation(1) on the possible replacement of the two oldest units at Ringhals NPP.

The ongoing new nuclear power plant related activities within the applicant Vattenfall AB are currently not of the magnitude that it sum up to a level to state that any new reactors are planned. However, analyses are ongoing.

2.3.2. Project management

The applicant has not yet submitted information regarding project management. The applicant is stating that focus lies on understanding and analysing the prerequisites and that it is handled with a small internal project organization. In later stages further information will be available.

2.3.3. Project funding

The applicant has not yet submitted information regarding project funding. The applicant is stating that focus lies on understanding and analysing the prerequisites, funding for this is done internally by the applicant. In later stages further information may be available.

2.3.4. Electric grid development

The state-owned public utility, Svenska Kraftnät (SvK), also the government authority responsible for electricity preparedness and to reinforce the country’s electricity supply system to ensure it is able to withstand critical situations, is responsible for grid development and stability of the grid. SvK have in its strategy plan stated that no major grid upgrades are required as long as the total power from a site is not increased.

2.3.5. Site Selection (including public consultation)

No firm decision on site exists. According to the Environmental act replacement reactors can only be constructed at the three present sites. The application from Vattenfall AB is for one or two reactors in Forsmark or Ringhals. The ongoing public consultation is for one or two reactors in Ringhals at the Swedish west coast in the county of Halland.

2.4. Organizations involved in construction of NPPs

There are currently no new nuclear power plant construction related activities taking place in Sweden.

2.5. Organizations involved in operation of NPPs

The operators and some of the owners of Swedish nuclear power plants are shown in Figure 2. Some additional information about the power utilities is given in Table 7 and TABLE 8:. It should be mentioned that all the operators are relatively independent of their parent organisations when it comes to technical capability.

The Swedish nuclear power plant operators jointly own the following support organisations:

  • KSU (Swedish Nuclear Training and Safety Center) provides operational training, including simulator training, on a contracting basis, for all Swedish nuclear power plants. KSU also analyses international operational experience and provides the results to the Swedish operators. In addition, KSU publishes regular reports about operational experience from Sweden and provides other energy- and nuclear-related information to politicians and decision makers.

  • Swedish Qualification Centre (SQC) is a company for independent qualification of NDT systems to be used by NDT-companies in Swedish nuclear power plants.

  • NORDERF is a co-operation between Swedish and Finnish licensees, to carry out screening and analysis of operational experience of national and international events affecting nuclear safety and to distribute lessons learned and good practice to member parties.

  • SKB (Swedish Nuclear Fuel and Waste Management Company) is a company jointly owned by the nuclear power companies for management and disposal of spent nuclear fuel and radioactive waste. SKB owns and operates the facility for intermediate storage of spent fuel (CLAB) in Oskarshamn, and the repository for low- and medium-level waste (SFR) in Forsmark. SKB is also responsible for the R&D work in connection with developing a technical concept and siting for a repository for the spent fuel, including the Äspö Hard Rock Laboratory.

2.6. Organizations involved in decommissioning of NPPs

Under Swedish law, the holder of a licence to operate a nuclear facility (the operator) also is primarily responsible for the decommissioning of the facility. Thus the NPP utilities (Barsebäck Kraft AB, Ringhals AB, Forsmarks Kraftgrupp AB and OKG Aktiebolag) are responsible for the decommissioning of the NPPs and associated facilities at the NPP sites. The Swedish licence holders/operators are shown in Figure 2.

Vattenfall AB is the licence holder for the permanently closed Agesta reactor.

The Swedish Nuclear Fuel and Waste Management Co (SKB), which is jointly owned by the NPP utilities, has been delegated certain responsibilities relating to management, including transports, and disposal of radioactive wastes arising from operation and decommissioning of NPPs.

In addition, AB SVAFO, which is jointly owned by the NPP utilities, is responsible for decommissioning of certain older research and development facilities and for management of the corresponding wastes.

2.7. Fuel cycle including waste management

Swedish utilities meet all their needs for uranium and enrichment services through imports. Westinghouse (previously ABB Atom) manufactures reactor fuel both for BWRs and PWRs. Half of its deliveries are to utilities abroad. The Swedish utilities buy part of their fuel elements from abroad.

Studsvik Nuclear AB is still an important contractor for materials testing and nuclear fuel investigations. The materials testing reactors have been shut down, but there is a co-operation with the Halden reactor in Norway. A hot cell laboratory is also maintained. Studsvik is also expanding its business in the decommissioning and waste treatment fields.

Waste management practices in Sweden currently include the repository for radioactive operational waste (SFR), shallow land burials, the intermediate storage for spent fuel (CLAB), the transportation system and clearance. All facilities for waste and spent fuel management, unless part of a nuclear power plant or the Studsvik facility, are owned and operated by SKB.

SFR is a repository for short-lived radioactive waste resulting from the operation of Swedish nuclear reactors. In addition, small amounts of radioactive waste from hospitals, research institutions and industry are disposed of in SFR-1. SFR-1 consists of four rock caverns and a silo. The facility is situated at a depth of 50 m, in bedrock 5 m under the Baltic Sea level. Construction started in 1983, and the facility was taken into operation in 1988. The total capacity is 63 000 m3. By 31 December 2013, 33 871 m3 of waste had been disposed of. In the safety assessment, the total radioactivity of the waste in the filled repository is assumed to be 1016 Bq. The nuclear power plants at Ringhals, Forsmark and Oskarshamn, as well as the Studsvik site, have shallow land burials for short-lived, very low-level waste. The nuclide specific concentrations limits are specified in the licence as well as the total activity limit. The highest allowed activity that SSM may grant a licence according to the legislation is 10 TBq, of which a maximum of 10 GBq may consist of alpha-active substances. A licence for a shallow land burial site with a higher activity is granted by the Government.

Spent nuclear fuel from all Swedish nuclear power reactors is stored in a central interim storage (CLAB), situated close to the Oskarshamn nuclear power plant. The fuel is stored in water pools in rock caverns in the bedrock, at a depth of 25 m. Construction started in 1980, and it was taken into operation in 1985. The total storage capacity, approximately 8000 tonnes, is sufficient for storing all spent fuel from the nuclear power reactors. All transportation of spent nuclear fuel and nuclear waste is by sea, since all the nuclear facilities are situated at the coast. The transportation system has been in operation since 1982, and consists of the new ship M/S Sigrid, transport casks and containers, and terminal vehicles for loading and unloading. The ship M/S Sigrid is specially designed to transport radioactive material and was taken in to operation by SKB in the end of 2013.

Four major facilities remain to be designed, sited, constructed and licensed. Namely, a plant for the encapsulation of spent nuclear fuel, a final repository for spent fuel, a repository for long-lived low- and intermediate-level waste, and a repository for waste from decommissioning and dismantling the nuclear power plants. An application for the encapsulation plant was submitted by SKB in 2006.

The development work for the final repository of spent fuel has continued according to plans. In June 2009, SKB decided that an application for a repository for spent nuclear fuel will be based on the premise that the repository will be constructed in the municipality of Östhammar, close to the Forsmark site. In March 2011 SKB submitted a license application under the Act (1984:3) on Nuclear Activities for a disposal facility for spent nuclear fuel at the Forsmark site in the municipality of Östhammar and an updated application for an encapsulation plant near the interim storage facility CLAB in the municipality of Oskarshamn. At the same time SKB submitted also a license application for establishment of the KBS-3 system for disposal of spent nuclear fuel to the Swedish Environmental Court. The court will review this application covering both the encapsulation plant and the disposal facility for spent fuel under the Swedish Environmental Code in parallel with SSM’s review according to the Act (1984:3) on Nuclear Activities, SKB’s license applications are currently being reviewed by the Swedish Radiation Safety Authority (SSM) and a first review statement is expected in 2015 in support of the main hearing of the Land and Environmental Court. The aim of SSM’s review is to submit the final review statement with recommendations to the Government in 2016.

The final disposal facility for long-lived low- and intermediate-level waste (SFL), is mainly intended to contain core components and reactor internals, plus long-lived LILW from Studsvik. SFL may be co-sited with one of the other final repositories. SKB plans to locate the disposal facility at a depth of 300 metres with connection to existing ramps. According to current plans, a disposal facility for long-lived low and intermediate level waste will be sited in about 2035 and taken into operation in 2045.

So far no disposal facility for decommissioning waste exists. SKB plans to dispose of shortlived decommissioning waste in an extension to the existing disposal facility for operational waste (SFR). Long-lived decommissioning waste is destined for the future disposal facility for long-lived low- and intermediate level waste (SFL). SKB has completed the consultation process to site a disposal facility for short-lived low and intermediate level decommissioning waste as an extension to the existing disposal facility for short-lived operational waste (SFR). Investigation of the bedrock started in 2008. SKB plans to submit an application in 2014 and to start operation of the extended part of the disposal facility in 2023.

2.7.1. Financing of decommissioning and waste disposal

The holder of a license for a nuclear facility which generates or has generated residual products must pay a fee to the Nuclear Waste Fund, to cover the licensee’s share of the total costs for the management and disposal of spent nuclear fuel and/or nuclear waste, as well as decommissioning. The regulatory authority (in this case SSM) appointed by the Government reviews the cost calculations and submits a proposal for the size of the fees to the Government. The size of the fee is decided by the Government, and is individual to each utility. The purpose of the Fund is to cover all expenses incurred for the safe handling and disposal of spent nuclear fuel, as well as dismantling nuclear facilities and disposing of the decommissioning waste. The Fund must also finance SKB’s R&D and various other costs associated with the waste management system and regulatory oversight of this.

In addition to the payment of fees, a licensee must provide two kinds of guarantees. One type of guarantee covers fees that have not yet been paid in. The other type of guarantee relates to unplanned events. The guarantees become payable if the licensees fail to fulfil their obligation to pay fees and the assets in the fund are deemed to be insufficient. For a licensee of reactors that are permanently shut down, i.e. Barsebäck Kraft AB, only the first type of guarantee is applicable.

In June 2013, SSM submitted, following a Government assignment, proposals concerning revision of the Financing Act. The mission was carried out in consultation with the Nuclear Waste Fund and the National Debt Office. The authorities have clarified the principles for how the nuclear waste fee is calculated and how the funds in the Nuclear Waste Fund are managed in order to reduce the state’s financial risk.

2.8. Research and development

2.8.1. R&D organizations

Most of the research and development in the field of nuclear safety is directed by the SSM and the nuclear power operators. It is performed at universities, Westinghouse Electric Sweden, Studsvik, at the Vattenfall central laboratory in Älvkarleby and at other research institutes, both at home and abroad.

Research to support nuclear safety supervision is focused on a number of strategic areas, such as safety assessment, safety analysis, reactor technology, material and fuel questions, human factors, emergency preparedness and non-proliferation.

To fulfil these research needs, SSM contracts universities and consulting companies, with a dominant share going to research organisations in Sweden. However, since national resources are limited, Sweden has, for a long time, actively participated in international research. There has been a clear trend for many years of increasing levels of international co-operation, also for safety research. SSM is prioritising co-operation on research conducted in the OECD/NEA, and is participating in a large number of projects organised within this framework. An example is the Halden Project in Norway, which conducts research of importance for fuel, materials and human factors. An example of an OECD/NEA international project performed in Sweden is the fuel project SCIP (Studsvik Cladding Integrity Project). Since Sweden joined the EU, the importance of joint European work has increased. SSM is itself actively participating and supporting Swedish organisations participating in European Commission projects, and intends to support such projects in the future. Furthermore, in the safeguards area, important joint work is performed within ESARDA (European Safeguards Research and Development Association).

In the field of radiation protection, SSM supports research within radioecology, radiation protection of power plant workers, emergency preparedness, nuclear waste matters, and questions related to risk perception and acceptance of waste disposal. About 25% of the radiation protection research budget is used for non-nuclear research, i.e. medical and technical applications and uses of radiation, and for non-ionising radiation (UV, electromagnetic fields). In recent strategic funding of higher research positions in radiobiology, radioecology and radiophysics, three university-professorships were financed to maintain competence in radiation protection. This investment now focuses on financing younger scientist in radiation protection to support regrowth of competence. Further, funding of research projects is done as yearly open calls.

SKB is conducting a large research programme for developing methods for safe disposal of spent fuel. The research programme is conducted in collaboration with universities, institutes of technology and research institutions, both in Sweden and abroad.

2.8.2. Development of advanced nuclear technologies

No planning or research is currently performed regarding new nuclear power plants in Sweden.

2.8.3. International co-operation and initiatives

The international nuclear safety co-operation has a large and increasing volume. SSM is involved in about 140 international groups at different levels. Most of the reactor-safety co-operation takes place within the frameworks of IAEA, OECD/NEA and EU, but also occurs in connection with the international conventions ratified by Sweden and within associations such as the Western European Nuclear Regulators’ Association (WENRA) and the International Nuclear Regulators’ Association (INRA). In addition to these multilateral contexts, SSM has bilateral agreements with a number of countries to exchange information and to co-operate on technical issues as agreed. Sweden has a relatively high profile in the international technical groups. SSM considers active international involvement to be important for the quality of the national safety and radiation protection work, as well as to contribute to the development of international standards and the international knowledge base. In the field of radiation protection, Sweden has been active for many years in the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP) and in working groups of NEA, IAEA and the EU. International agreements exist with authorities and technical support bodies in Europe and Asia as well as in North America, in areas such as emergency preparedness, occupational exposure, environmental radiological protection and radioactive waste management. Sweden is also a member of ISOE (Information System on Occupational Exposure).

The Swedish utilities are involved in international co-operation through membership in WANO, in owner’s group associations of the major European and US vendors, and by participation in the European Utilities Requirements project, IAEA activities, and various task forces representing most of the disciplines in nuclear facilities.

NORDERF analyses and evaluates operating experience gained at other nuclear power plants worldwide, see section 2.5.

The following organizations have signed agreements of participation with SKB in the Äspö Hard Rock Laboratory project: Posiva Oy (Finland), BMWi (Germany), Criepi (Japan), KAERI (Republic of Korea), JAEA (Japan), NWMO (Canada), Rawra (Czech republic), Nagra (Switzerland) and NDA (UK).

2.9. Human resources development

The academic education in nuclear technology in Sweden is mainly concentrated at the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm (KTH), Chalmers University of Technology in Göteborg (CTH), and Uppsala University (UU). At KTH, the Swedish Centre of Nuclear Technology (SKC) has existed since 1992. Having once been oriented mainly towards KTH and support of doctoral students, the centre now aims to support professor and lecturer posts and post-graduate education in the field at the three universities mentioned above. SSM (and previously SKI), having been part of SKC since the beginning, made the decision to step out by the end of 2013, with the intention to continue to fund academic research and infrastructure to the same extent as before.

From a ten-year perspective, the financial situation of research in nuclear technology as well as the interest from students in the field has increased significantly. Master’s degrees in nuclear engineering are given at KTH and Chalmers, both with an intake of about 15 students per year. From both programs it is emphasized that taking into account students that take coursed stand alone, the actual number of students on some courses may be close to 50. A newly developed course at KTH is "Geological storage in Precambrian Bedrock" which is offered in collaboration with Linnaeus University. Also Uppsala University conducts training in the nuclear field.

An evaluation of SKC's in 2009 activities found that "constituent academic institutions now contribute in a decisive way to the national supply of expertise in nuclear technology at all levels" and that "The graduates have received useful training – over half of those trained have gone on to employment in the nuclear industry. "One can also observe that the number of younger lecturers and professors in the field has increased dramatically since the early 2000s.

Recently, the former nuclear power plant Barsebäck has been converted to a training facility for nuclear industry staff. At this site, personnel can be trained in repair and maintenance work, for example, under realistic technical conditions but with low ambient radiation.

2.10. Stakeholder Communication

Stakeholder communication is an essential part of the work within the nuclear sector in Sweden. Openness and transparency are keywords.

Within each region where there are nuclear power plants, there are Local Liaison Safety Committees. These committees gather information on safety related issues from the owner of the facility and make that information available to the public. The government appoints the members of each committee based on proposals from the municipalities involved.

There are different levels of stakeholder communication in the Swedish nuclear waste management program. The formal consultation process has been one way for the industry (the Swedish Nuclear Fuel and Waste Management Company, SKB) to communicate with representatives from the two municipalities (Oskarshamn and Östhammar), the Swedish Radiation Safety Authority (SSM) and NGOs.

Another level of stakeholder communication is managed by the Swedish National Council for Nuclear Waste and their transparency programme. Within the framework of this programme, the Council have regular meetings with all central stakeholders. One objective for these meetings is to discuss what issues each of the stakeholders finds to be most important. Other activities within the transparency programme are seminars and hearings, which provide an opportunity for more in-depth discussions of specific topics.

It should also be pointed out that the Swedish Radiation Safety Authority (SSM) also has ways of interacting and communicating with stakeholders.

As with all governmental authorities in Sweden, openness and transparency towards the public are important tasks for the Swedish Radiation Safety Authority. According to the communication policy of SSM:

  • the authority shall be available and provide a good service to media, the public and professionals,

  • information shall be proactive and fast,

  • information shall be fact based, correct and unbiased,

  • the communication process shall be an integrated part of SSM’s activities,

  • management has the overall responsibility for communication,

  • experts are responsible for information within their professional areas,

  • all information activities shall be coordinated with the communications section.

The communication section at SSM currently has nine professional communicators. SSM makes extensive use of its website, including an English version, and publishes a lot of information material via various channels, including working pro-actively with social media.

2.11. Emergency Preparedness

The Swedish crisis management system is based on ordinary administrative structures and on the principle that the party in charge of an activity in normal situations also has a corresponding responsibility for activities in the event of a crisis (“the principle of responsibility”). One key principle is that a crisis is to be managed where it has occurred and by the relevant parties in charge of the crisis (“the principle of proximity”). Another principle is that changes to an organisation should be kept as small as possible (“the principle of parity”). However, the principle of responsibility must not be used as a pretext for non-action or avoiding necessary preparations and preventive measures based on the argument that a different stakeholder has the main responsibility.

The Government gives the provisions mainly in the Civil Protection Act (2003:778) and the Civil Protection Ordinance (2003:789). The prime responsibility to provide or finance reasonable emergency preparedness, personnel, property, and take the necessary measures to prevent or limit risks for accidents that may cause serious harm to people or the environment, is the licensee or the responsible operator. They are also required to analyse the risk of such accidents. In case of a release of toxic or harmful substances from a facility, the person engaged in the activities shall notify the county administration board, the police and the municipality if the release calls for specific measures to protect the public. Notification shall also be provided if there is imminent danger of such emissions.

The county administrative boards in Sweden are responsible for the protection of people and the environment in the event of a release of radioactive material from a nuclear facility that warrants urgent protective actions off the site, and for the response and rescue operations within their respective counties.

SSM has the collective responsibility in Sweden for radiation protection and nuclear safety. SSM is the expert authority responsible for advising within their area of responsibility the county administrative boards, as well as both local and other central authorities and the Government. SSM makes recommendations for radiation protection based on intervention levels that are in accordance with international standards.

For further information see Sweden's sixth national report under the Convention on Nuclear Safety, Ds 2013:56, Ministry of the Environment, Sweden 14 October 2013 and The IAEA Integrated Regulatory Review Service Mission to Sweden in February 2012, 2012:03, ISSN: 2000-0456.


3.1. Regulatory framework

3.1.1. Regulatory authority(s)

Since 1 July 2008, Sweden has an integrated regulatory authority, the Swedish Radiation Safety Authority (SSM), with a mandate from the Swedish Government within the areas of nuclear safety, radiation protection and nuclear non-proliferation. SSM is a merger of the two earlier regulatory bodies, the Swedish Nuclear Power Inspectorate (SKI) and the Radiation Protection Authority (SSI). SSM has taken over all the missions and tasks of the two earlier authorities.

SSM has a staff of approximately 300, and is organised under a Director General in three main departments (Nuclear Power Plant Safety, Radioactive Materials and Radiation Protection) and an International Secretariat.

SSM is financed through the state budget, but about 70% of the SSM budget is recovered from licensees by fees of different kinds, and 30% is covered by taxes. About 95% of the fees are collected from nuclear facilities, while the remaining part is collected from hospitals and industry with activities falling under the Radiation Protection Act. Standard fees are regulated in Ordinance (2008:463) about certain fees to the Radiation Safety Authority:

SSM’s roles and responsibilities are defined in the Ordinance 2008:452, amended 2011:1589, with instruction for the Swedish Radiation Safety Authority. The Ordinance states that SSM is the central administrative authority for issues dealing with protection of people and the environment against harmful effects of ionising and non-ionising radiation, safety of nuclear activities and nuclear non-proliferation. Hence, the area of responsibility includes regulation of all areas of nuclear activity in Sweden, including physical protection and transport issues. Generally, the authority shall actively promote improved radiation safety in society and work to:

  • prevent radiological accidents and ensure radiation-safe operation and waste handling within nuclear activities

  • minimize risks and optimize effects of medical exposures

  • minimize risks of occupational exposures

  • minimize risks of exposures from naturally-occurring sources

  • improve radiation safety internationally

SSM is mandated to issue legally binding regulations within its activity areas. In addition, the following more-detailed tasks are mentioned in the Ordinance:

  • handle certain financial issues with regard to future costs for residual products from nuclear activities and liaison with the Nuclear Waste Fund,

  • responsibility for the national metrology laboratory for ionising radiation,

  • administer the national dose register and issue dose passports,

  • contribute to development of national competence within the activity area,

  • provide information to the public within the activity area,

  • handle international issues within the activity area,

  • co-ordinate national emergency preparedness within the activity area,

  • provide advice on radiation protection and decontamination in cases of emergency,

  • maintain and manage a national expert organisation in cases of emergency,

  • provide technical advice to responsible authorities for protective actions in cases of emergency

SSM is further involved in international development co-operation with Russian Federation, Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova.

SSM reports to the Government through the Ministry of Environment.

3.1.2. Licensing Process

The Act (1984:3) on Nuclear Activities includes the basic legal requirements for licensing, and the legal sanctions to be imposed on anyone who conducts nuclear activities without a license. For major installations and activities, the license is granted by the Government upon a written recommendation from the regulatory body.

An application for a permit to construct, possess or operate a nuclear installation shall, along with the particular documents concerning construction and nuclear safety, contain an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA). Procedures regarding the EIA are laid down in the Environmental Code. These provisions are also applicable in the licensing procedures according to the Act (1984:3) on Nuclear Activities. The EIA aims to facilitate an overall assessment of the planned operation's effects on the environment, health and management of natural resources, thus providing a better basis for the decision.

During the procedure of completing the Environmental Impact Assessment, the applicant must consult with those that may be or are concerned, e.g. local organizations and the public. Such stakeholders are thereby given the opportunity to express their opinions and have them considered in the process. Notification of the application as well as the Environmental Impact Statement shall be published, in order to give everyone concerned an opportunity to comment before the matter is decided.

SSM is given the mandate to decide upon license conditions for nuclear safety and radiation protection. Previously, this mandate was given by the Government in every particular license, but according to a legal amendment on 1 July 2006, SSM now has a continuous and general mandate to decide such conditions for all sorts of licenses issued under the Act (1984:3) on Nuclear Activities.


For all the existing Swedish nuclear power plants, the licences are valid without time limit, although licence conditions can be issued for a limited time and their renewal function as a control station.

If a licensee fails to comply with conditions attached to the license or with safety obligations arising in any other manner under the Act (1984:3) on Nuclear Activities, the Government or the regulatory body has the authority to revoke the license altogether. The decision lies with the authority that has issued the particular license. Revoking a license for other reasons than safety, as in the Barsebäck 1 and 2 cases, requires a special law.

There is a legally binding requirement to conduct a periodic safety review of every major nuclear installation every 10 years of operation. The purpose of this review and its regulatory assessment is to determine whether the installation still complies with current regulations and the licensing conditions, and that safety and safety culture work are developing as required. SSM regards the periodic safety reviews as time-limited licensing conditions.

For these reasons, the concept of “Lifetime Extension” has no formal meaning in Sweden. The expression “40 years technical lifetime” is used in a non-formal way, mostly by the licensees in their long-term planning. The plants were prepared for 40 years operation and beyond. Ongoing and planned modernization works are assumed to increase the technical life time of plants. Originally, when designing the plants, 40 years was an assumed technical lifetime, “guaranteed” with large margins for the major passive structures and components. Today, based on international operational experience, technical lifetime for similar rector designs is expected to be around 60 years. The investment analyses for planned modernizations are based on operational life times of 50-60 years, although investments will be profitable even with life times of 40 years.

3.2. Main national laws and regulations in nuclear power

The following five Acts constitute the basic nuclear legislation of Sweden:

  • The Act (1984:3) on Nuclear Activities

  • The Radiation Protection Act (1988:220)

  • The Environmental Code (1998:808)

  • The Act (2006:647) on Financing of the Management of Residual Products from Nuclear Activities

  • The Nuclear Liability Act (1968:45)

With exception of the Nuclear Liability Act, all Acts are supplemented by a number of ordinances and other secondary legislation, which contain more detailed provisions for particular aspects of the regime.

Operation of a nuclear facility can only be conducted in accordance with a license issued under the Act (1984:3) on Nuclear Activities and a license issued under the Environmental Code. Thus, operation of a nuclear facility requires two separate licenses.

The Act (1984:3) on Nuclear Activities is mainly concerned with issues of safety and security, while the Environmental Code is focused on the general environmental aspects and the possible impacts of “environmentally hazardous activities” as to which nuclear activities are defined to belong to.

The Act on Radiation Protection aims to protect people, animals and the environment from the harmful effects of radiation. The Act provides provisions regarding worker’s protection, radioactive waste management, and the protection of the general public and the environment.

The Act (2006:647) on Financing of the Management of Residual Products from Nuclear Activities contains provisions concerning the future costs of spent fuel disposal, decommissioning of reactors and research in the field of nuclear waste. Means for that purpose have to be available when needed.

The Nuclear Liability Act implements Sweden's obligations as a Party to the 1960 Paris Convention on Third Party Liability in the Field of Nuclear Energy and to the 1963 Brussels Convention Supplementary to the Paris Convention.

Other relevant Acts are the Act (2000:1064) on Control of Export of Dual-Use Products and Technical Assistance and the Act (2000:140) on Inspections according to International Agreements on Non-proliferation of Nuclear weapons. Emergency-preparedness matters are regulated by a separate Act (2003:778) and Ordinance (2003:789) on Protection Against Accidents with serious potential consequences for human health and the environment. Specific security matters are regulated by the Act (1990:217) on Protection of Important Facilities, and the Act (1996:627) on Security Protection.

After the formation of SSM, a new series of regulations, SSMFS, was created. In this series, all regulations formerly issued by the former regulatory bodies SKI and SSI have been re-issued as SSM regulations. There are now about 50 such regulations in force (see: http://www.stralsakerhetsmyndigheten.se/In-English/).

In the appropriation directions for the financial years 2012 through 2014, SSM are commissioned by the Swedish Government to develop regulations for new nuclear power plants. In parallel, a comprehensive regulation review including implementation of the new revised European Basic Safety Standards Directive which will supersede the Council Directive 96/29/Euratom of 13 May 1996, as well as the amended Nuclear Safety Directive which will supersede the Council Directive 2009/71/Euratom of 25 June 2009, are planned. Hence, the work to revise SSM's regulations will be an ongoing process for many years to come.

Also as a consequence of the formation of SSM, the Government appointed a special investigator to review and propose changes to the Act (1984:3) on Nuclear Activities and the Radiation Protection Act, with a possible objective of merging the two acts and introducing the concept of Radiation Safety into the legislation. The proposals from the investigator are being considered by the government. A bill to the parliament is expected in 2015.

The management of the Nuclear Waste Fund is the responsibility of a separate governmental agency, the Nuclear Waste Fund.


Sweden's sixth national report under the Convention on Nuclear Safety, Ds 2013:56, Ministry of the Environment, Sweden 14 October 2013.

The IAEA Integrated Regulatory Review Service Mission to Sweden in February 2012, 2012:03, ISSN: 2000-0456.

Energiindikatorer 2014 (ER 2014:10)

APPENDIX 1. International, Multilateral and Bilateral Agreements

Agreements with IAEA

Amendments of Article VI & XIV.A of the IAEA statute

13 July 2001
EURATOM/IAEA NPT related safeguards agreement INFCIRC/193

Entry into force:
1 June 1995
Additional Protocol (GOV/1998/28)

22 Sept.1998
Agreement on privileges and immunities

Entry into force:
8 Sept. 1961

Relevant Internationel Treaties, Etc

Convention on Third Party Liability in the Field of Nuclear Energy (Paris Convention)

Entry into force:
1 April 1968
Convention supplementary to the Paris Convention (Brussels Convention)

Entry into force:
1 April 1968
Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear weapons (NPT)

Entry into force:
9 Jan. 1970
Convention on physical protection of nuclear material

Entry into force:
8 Feb. 1987
Convention on early notification of a nuclear accident

Entry into force:
30 March 1987
Convention on assistance in the case of a nuclear accident or radiological emergency

Entry into force:
25 July 1992
Joint Protocol Relating to the Application of the Vienna Convention and the Paris *

Entry into force:
1 Jan. 1992
Convention on nuclear safety

Entry into force:
24 Oct. 1996
Convention on Environmental Impact Assessment in a Transboundary Context (Espoo Convention)
Entry into force:
10 September 1997

Joint convention on the safety of spent fuel management and on the safety of radioactive waste management

Entry into force:
18 June 2001
Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters (Aarhus Convention)
20 May 2005

ZANGGER Committee


Nuclear Export Guidelines


Acceptance of NUSS Codes

Summary: Codes well suited for national safety rules. Compatible with Swedish law and other rules.

12 June 1990
Nuclear Suppliers Group


EURATOM treaty
Member State:

* Convention to amend the Vienna Convention on Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage is not a relevant treaty for Sweden, for the reason that Sweden is a Party to the Paris Convention.

Multilateral Agreements

Exchange of ministerial notes between Sweden, Denmark, Finland and Norway about guiding principles for contacts about nuclear safety concerning nuclear plants at the borders between Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden. (SÖ 1977:48).

The Swedish Radiation Safety Authority participates in the following regulatory networks:

Western European Nuclear Regulators’ Association

International Nuclear Regulators’ Association

European Nuclear Security Regulators’ Association

Heads of European Radiation Control Authorities

Sweden is also a Member of the Nuclear Energy Agency of the OECD and participates in all NEA Committees and most of the Working Groups.

Sweden is a member of the OECD/NEA Multinational Design Evaluation Programme (MDEP)

Bilateral Agreements

The Swedish Government has bilateral agreements with the following countries on early notification, information exchange and co-operation within the area of nuclear safety:

Denmark, Finland, Norway, Russian Federation, Germany and Ukraine.

The Swedish Radiation Safety Authority has bilateral agreements on exchange of information and co-operation with the safety authorities of the following countries:

Canada, USA, Russian Federation, Japan, Germany, France, Finland, Lithuania and United Kingdom.

Safeguards agreements exist with: Australia, Canada and Germany.

APPENDIX 2. Main Organizations, Institutions and Companies Involved in Nuclear Power Related Activities


The Swedish Energy Agency
The Swedish Radiation Safety Authority
The Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency (MSB)
Svenska Kraftnät
The Swedish Nuclear Waste Fund (Kärnavfallsfonden)


Vattenfall AB
OKG Aktiebolag
SKB (Swedish Nuclear Fuel and Waste Management Company)
Mellansvensk Kraftgrupp AB

Värmlandskraft-Okg-Delägarna AB

KSU (Nuclear Safety and Training)
Swedish Qualification Centre (SQC)
Studsvik Nuclear AB
Statistics Sweden

Report coordinator: