KrF proposes the establishment of a nuclear energy committee – E24

KrF proposes the establishment of a nuclear energy committee – E24

KrF proposes establishing a committee to facilitate nuclear energy in Norway. – We need large amounts of energy, and we must use all forms of force, says Kjell Ingolf Robstad (KrF).

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The short version

Recently, many mayors and parties have become involved in nuclear energy, partly because many of them do not want the natural interferences associated with wind energy.

First Deputy Chairman of the Parliament's Energy and Environment Committee, Kjell Ingolf Ropstad (KrF) is now putting forward a proposal to set up a committee to ensure that authorities and regulations are ready for the rapid expansion of nuclear energy.

– The government is betting a lot on offshore wind, but we must have nuclear power as a solution if offshore wind does not deliver, Robstad tells E24.

– If we cannot develop offshore wind energy cheaply enough, I think we should prepare everything so that we can start with nuclear energy. We don't have to spend more time, he adds.

Norway has just concluded its first offshore wind auction. Backed by up to $23 billion in government aid, Ventyr (Parkwind and Ingka) will develop a plant in the southern North Sea that can produce about 6 to 7 terawatt-hours per year.

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Requires more power

Robstad points out that Norway's development of wind energy in recent decades has produced only 15 terawatt-hours of new energy production in Norway. This corresponds to about ten percent of Norway's total production.

It is believed that if Norway wants to reach its 2050 climate target, several times more energy must be developed.

“We will quickly have an energy deficit, and half the energy we use today is fossil energy,” says Robstad.

according to The Energy Commission estimates that Norway used 326 terawatt-hours of energy in 2021, of which 165 terawatt-hours came from fossil energy. The committee proposed a target to increase energy production by 40 terawatt hours already by 2030.

We need large amounts of force, and we must use all forms of force. Nuclear power also requires less destruction of nature, and in that sense it is an answer to both the climate, nature and energy crises, says Ropstad.

This is the Swedish Oskarshamn nuclear power plant.  Sweden plans to double its electricity production to 300 terawatt-hours by 2045, and plans to build nuclear power equivalent to ten new large-scale conventional reactors.

Don't be afraid to deviate

The NHO said it feared the discussion on nuclear power would become a diversion from short-term energy needs, in relation to a controversial report that said nuclear power was irrelevant before 2050.

Robstad doesn't want to derail the discussion, but he believes nuclear power could become important in the long term.

– I am not afraid of deviation at all. He adds: “I'm more afraid that we won't discuss what will happen in the long term.”

Norway must not only reduce emissions by 55% by 2030, but reach net zero emissions by 2050.

-We are involved in offshore wind, solar and onshore wind. But there are limitations, and if we don't plan further ahead, we may be able to reach the 2030 goals, but we struggle to reach the 2050 goals, Robstad says.

– Huge amounts of energy are needed. He says that KrF is not against more wind energy, but at the same time we believe that we should not close the door on nuclear energy being a safe and good form of energy in the long term.

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Pointing to 2035-2040

Sweden has long experience in nuclear energy. There, the government has just rolled out a comprehensive plan to nearly double energy production to 300 terawatt-hours by 2045, with nuclear power as a stable backbone.

The Swedes aim to produce 2,500 megawatts by 2035. By 2035-2040, their goal could be to have some nuclear power in Norway. But that requires starting now, Robstad says.

– You want to cooperate with Sweden and Finland. Do you think Norwegian companies or the state can help pay for Swedish nuclear power plants?

– Of course the best thing would be to build it in Norway, and my goal is for it to go in that direction. But the cooperation with Sweden is very good, we have a lot in common and a great flow of forces between the two countries. Robstad says they are building expertise and reviewing their legislation, and playing on a team with them would have been an advantage.

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– I spoke with my colleague in the party that runs energy policy in Sweden, and they are open to that. If you are not an MP, there is an alternative to help finance Swedish nuclear energy to ensure that Norway also benefits from this.

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Robstad hopes that a potential new non-socialist government in Norway will open up potential nuclear power plants in Norway, as the Swedish government has done.

Parliament representative Nikolai Astrup (right) has a positive outlook on the investigations, but warns against allowing nuclear power to overshadow the measures needed in the short term.

– A year ago, the Conservative Party tabled a motion in Parliament asking the government to investigate the need for nuclear power in the future energy mix. We have nothing in principle against nuclear energy, but it is important that we focus on what should happen until 2030, Astrup tells E24.

– Even small modular reactors will not be relevant until the end of the 2030s, and if the Norwegian industry exits by then, there will be no need for nuclear power. “I hope KrF shares the fact that the important thing now is to accelerate what will happen in the next six years,” he says.

Nikolai Astrup (A) is a member of the Parliament's Energy and Environment Committee.

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It can reduce the need for power lines

– The Swedes are talking about using nuclear energy Reduce network development. Do you imagine that nuclear power would be able to solve the problem of power shortages in places like Finnmark or in western Norway, rather than new grid lines?

-We have to think in the short and long term. This is something that will come in the long term. In some places, Robstad says, networks have to be built anyway.

– But there is no doubt that placing power plants in places that need energy will save us billions to develop the network. But he says power lines shouldn't be brought down because of the potential for a nuclear power plant.

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Hanisi Anenih

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