12:09 GMT +321 January 2020
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik), Anastasia Dmitrieva - Sweden’s recent problems with operating nuclear power plants due to hot weather are temporary and may be resolved by investing in additional equipment to deal with high temperatures of cooling water, OECD-NEA Director-General William D. Magwood, IV, told Sputnik in an interview.

    "If the temperature goes very high, that can affect the operation of the plant, which generally means that the plant has to operate at a lower power level. But in some very extreme cases, the plants might need to be shut down for a while. I think that’s what happened with some of the Swedish plants. That being said, this doesn’t happen very often and when it does happen, it is normally a very short-lived situation that does not create huge problems," Magwood said.

    The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development Nuclear Energy Agency Director-General also suggested a way for Sweden to deal with high seawater temperatures in the future.

    "For nuclear power plants located in areas where extremely high temperatures happen more often, it might be worth considering investing in extra equipment to cope with the very high water temperatures," the agency head noted.

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    As for Sweden’s plans to phase out nuclear power and completely switch to renewables, the NEA official drew attention to the fact that its plants were set to be completely decommissioned only in 2040.

    "Swedish energy policy does not include the construction of more nuclear power plants, but envisages the continued operation the existing plants through the end of their operational lives within the 2040 time frame," Magwood said.

    Over the summer, Sweden experienced unusually hot weather that caused the temperature of the seawater used to cool nuclear reactors to increase significantly. The heatwave forced several Swedish nuclear reactors either to shut down completely or reduce power production levels.

    As a result, on Monday, the country’s nuclear energy regulator SSM asked plant operators to put forward plans on how to prevent such situations by the end of the year.

    READ MORE: Russia May Help South Korea to Build Nuclear Reactor for Maritime Vessels

    Sweden’s parties running in the upcoming general election are currently debating the future of the Swedish agreement on energy policy, which aims for a complete transition to an entirely renewable electricity system with a target of 100 percent renewable electricity production by 2040.

    The country’s nuclear power plants closures may be canceled due to the lack of certainty of how to replace their power supply with renewables amid the increasing energy demand in Sweden.

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    Tags:
    heatwave, nuclear energy, Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA), Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Sweden
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