Nuclear reactors are to be built in Sweden for the first time in nearly 30 years after the Government decided to abandon a decades-old commitment to phase out the power source.
Sweden joins a list of EU countries that have chosen nuclear energy under pressure to diversify from fossil fuels and meet tough climate-change targets for cutting CO2 emissions.
The dramatic policy switch showed that even in a country where popular opinion has been against nuclear power previously — and one with extensive hydroelectric resources — atomic generation is seen as part of an emissions-free energy strategy.
Swedes voted in a referendum in 1980 to phase out nuclear power by 2010 but the Government became anxious that renewable sources were not being developed quickly enough to decommission the generators.
The proposal to renew the reactors is expected to face a battle to get through parliament, however, and will become a main issue at the general election next year with the main opposition parties firmly against the move.