Swedish Parliament Rejects Proposal to Halt Nuclear Shutdown

(Bloomberg) -- A majority in the Swedish parliament rejected a proposal from the nationalist Sweden Democrats to stop Vattenfall AB’s plans to close two nuclear reactors, in a victory for the Social Democrat-led government.

The Sweden Democrats had support from three parties but failed to secure a majority. Its proposal to give the state-owned utility instructions to reverse its plans to wind down the Ringhals 1 reactor and to restart another reactor that was shuttered Dec. 30 lost by a single vote on Wednesday afternoon.

Vattenfall has repeatedly said it isn’t economically viable to keep running the two reactors, which were commissioned in 1975 and 1976, respectively. The company also operates two newer reactors at the plant, which produces a sixth of Sweden’s electricity, and is owned jointly with Germany’s Uniper SE, which holds a 29.6% stake through a subsidiary.

The latest round of disagreement highlights the pressure building on a fragile center-left coalition that was formed in 2019, as conservative parties are increasingly willing to join forces with the Sweden Democrats to attack it. In a party leader debate on Tuesday the leaders of both the Moderate Party and the Christian Democrats called for a snap election and have said they could call a vote of no confidence against Prime Minister Stefan Lofven if they secure enough support.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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