Vattenfall's Josefsson: We have not ruled out UK nuclear investment

By Tim Probert

16 November 2009 - Vattenfall's outgoing CEO Lars Josefsson, in an interview with Power Engineering International (PEi), said the Swedish utility will look to invest in nuclear power stations in the UK after 2010.

Last month state-owned Vattenfall dropped plans to build new nuclear plants in the UK under pressure from the Swedish government. Sweden's minister for enterprise and energy, Maud Olofsson, said in November that investment in UK nuclear power had been "dismissed on business grounds" due to the recession.

However, Vattenfall considers nuclear power investment in the UK to be an attractive long-term prospect. "In the short term there is no room for investment in the UK, at least not in the next couple of years. However, nuclear power is a very long term commitment and I wouldn't rule it out in the longer term," Josefsson told PEi.

Josefsson, who is to be replaced in the first half of 2010 by Øystein Løseth, CEO of the Dutch company Nuon, which is 49 per cent owned by Vattenfall, said the UK should introduce new mechanisms in order to facilitate investment in nuclear power.

"Nuclear power is very capital intensive, so it's a question of the UK government doing more for risk mitigation. I'm not sure about a carbon tax, but a carbon floor price would offer more certainty."

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