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Sweden may break EU deadlock on rules for nuclear accidents

Published tisdag 25 december 2012 kl 16.12
Lena Ek. Photo: Annika Digréus/Sveriges Radio.

Environment Minister Lena Ek has said Sweden will pressure Italy into accepting new rules for holding companies responsible for nuclear accidents.

Three years ago the Swedish parliament approved an EU bill saying that companies producing nuclear energy should take full financial responsibility for nuclear accidents.

In effect, the law holds companies presiding over nuclear accidents accountable to the tune of 12 billion SEK – four times what they risk having to pay for causing an accident today.

The new sum is still far off the actual costs of a large nuclear accident. The Fukushima disaster in Japan last year cost the country an estimated 1,000 billion SEK.

But the law has not been enacted, as the government is waiting for all EU member countries to accept the new rules. The latest countries to ratify the rules for nuclear accidents are Belgium and Great Britain, Ek told Swedish Radio.

"The agreement was for all countries to ratify the rules at the same time. One country should not be allowed to hold all others hostage," Ek said, adding that Sweden may come to enact the law before all other countries agreed to them.

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