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Norway To Consider Developing Nuclear Energy

Norway’s government appointed on Friday a committee tasked with considering whether the country should develop nuclear energy as an electricity source.

Kristin Halvorsen, a former finance minister and currently director of the Center for International Climate and Environmental Research in Oslo, will lead the committee, which is set to deliver its report with the findings by April 1, 2026.

Norway ditched the idea of nuclear as a power source in the 1970s, but it is now revisiting the idea.  

The issue of nuclear power in the country is back on the agenda for Norway, due to the need for stable and emission-free energy that can help meet growing electricity demand and plans of private companies to set up nuclear power production in collaboration with some Norwegian municipalities, Norway’s Energy Minister Terje Aasland said in a statement.

The newly-created committee will have to deliver a broad review and assessment of all the aspects of a potential nuclear power development in Norway, the government noted.

Currently, hydropower accounts for about 88% of Norway’s power production capacity, with wind farms making up another 11%.

Norway joins many other Western countries that have doubled down on nuclear power since the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the energy crisis. Since the start of the war and an energy-market-disrupting series of Western sanctions, nuclear power has regained much support in Europe as a critical aspect of reaching net-zero by 2050. Many countries in the West, with the notable exception of Germany, have recognized that nuclear power generation would help them achieve net-zero emission goals.

Norway’s neighbor Sweden, for example, plans to build two new nuclear reactors by 2035 in a hedge on low-carbon energy security, with 10 new reactors hoped for by 2045.

The country is expecting a surge in demand for power from its industrial and transport sectors, in the form of a double of demand by 2045, and Energy Minister Ebba Busch has called the move “decisive for the green transition, for Swedish jobs and at the heart for the welfare of our citizens”. 

By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com

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