Armed guards to patrol Sweden’s nuclear sites

Security officers guarding Sweden's three power plants are to carry firearms from February onwards.

Armed guards to patrol Sweden's nuclear sites
The Oskarshamn nuclear power station. Photo: Adam Ihse/TT

Guards at nuclear power stations at Oskarshamn, Ringhals and Forsmark will be equipped with their new weapons on February 4th, in a move designed to tighten security at potential targets in Sweden.

“We are reinforcing the protection of the area in light of the changing situation in the world. It is then quite natural that you tighten the requirements,” Anders Österberg, spokesperson for nuclear group OKG at Oskarshamn, told the TT news agency.

He said there are no specific threats directed at any of Sweden's nuclear power stations, and the move follows a general decision by the Swedish Radiation Safety Authority last year to step up security.

“Just look at all the terror attacks, for example in Istanbul recently. We have to keep up and protect our operations as best we can,” Österberg added in an interview with Swedish public radio.

He said Oskarshamn's guards have previously had access to batons, but not guns.

The new regulations also include a requirement for guard dogs at nuclear power plants.