Activist break-in prompts ministry crisis meet

Two Greenpeace activists remain inside a nuclear power plant in Forsmark after a break-in on Tuesday, with Environmental Minister Lena Ek spending Wednesday in a crisis meeting to deal with what she referred to as a "serious" situation.

Activist break-in prompts ministry crisis meet

The break-in prompted a full day’s meeting between Ek, the Swedish Radiation Safety Authority, and representatives from energy providers Vattenfall and Eon.

However, Ek was unable to come to any conclusions as to how the activists managed to remain hidden for more than 30 hours since Tuesday.

“We’ve had a good discussion, but not everything has been explained yet. Therefore we will have another meeting in about a month’s time,” Ek said during a press conference following the meeting.

Ek said that she was concerned with what had happened and that the further into restricted areas the activists managed to penetrate, the more serious a security breach it was.

She stressed, however, that the activists had only managed to get into the outer security zones so far.

“But nevertheless – it is serious,” she said.

At the press conference it was also confirmed that one man has been detained after being arrested around midday on Wednesday near Ringhals nuclear plant.

“He was arrested at noon outside of Ringhals. We think there is a connection between him and a car we found nearby. Now we are investigating his connection to the activists found inside the security zone,” said Ingemar Nilja of the local police to news agency TT earlier on Wednesday.

The detention order was issued by a prosecutor around 4pm on Wednesday. The four activists that were arrested on Wednesday morning after spending the night at the plant have been released.

The fact that the activists have managed to breach the security zones makes it necessary to question how good the security is in the outer security zones, said Ek at the press conference:

“There are still many questions that need answering,” she said.

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Fire hits Swedish nuke plant near Gothenburg

A small fire broke out at the Ringhals nuclear power plant in western Sweden on Wednesday morning, less than a day after the reactor had been restarted.

Fire hits Swedish nuke plant near Gothenburg

The blaze started shortly after 9am at Ringhals’ Reactor 1 and was extinguished less than an hour later.

“The smoke came from oil inside the insulation on one or several of the pipes in the turbine hall,” emergency services spokesman Roger Banck told the TT news agency.

However, the reactor continues to operate at half capacity and it remains unclear how long it will continue to do so.

“Now we have to disassemble certain parts in order to access where the fire took place and see what the damage is and we don’t know how long that will take,” Ringshals spokesman Gösta Larsen told TT.

Ringhals’ Reactor 1 was restarted on Tuesday after having been shut down the day before due to a broken meter.

The reactor had been closed for inspection for the previous five weeks and it was undergoing a test run when the meter malfunction was discovered.

Reactor 4, which also remains shuttered for a safety review, is supposed to be restarted on Sunday.

On Tuesday, the Swedish Radiation Safety Authority (Strålsäkerhetsmyndigheten, SSM) announced Ringhals would no longer be held under special observation, a status implemented for Ringhals by the agency back in 2009 following a series of safety lapses.

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