Nuclear power Seven Danish green NGOs recommend that the Barsebaeck nuclear power plant is not given an environmental permit

​​​​​​​The Danish Forest and Nature Agency is currently participating in the transboundary consultation process that is a part of the Barsebaeck nuclear power plant's application for an environmental permit. Concerning this subject Barsebäcksoffensiv (BBOFF) has submitted a position paper, recommending that Barsebaeck should not be given an environmental permit. In stead the Danish and the Swedish government should intensify their efforts to shut down the plant as quickly as possible. The Danish BBOFF includes the following NGOs: The Danish Ecological Council, NOAH - Friends of the Earth Denmark, The Danish Society for the Conservation of Nature, The Danish Organisation for Renewable Energy, Eco-net, Nature and Youth and Copenhagen's Environmental and Energy Office.

29. juni 2004 · Kl. 13:10 Pressemeddelelse

BBOFF's position paper can be found in a Danish and English version.

The reason for the recommendation of the poistion paper is shortcomings with respect to the physical protection and the safety level of the plant, including:

  • Lack of physical protection against a terrorist attack in the form of an airplane crash.
  • Lack of physical protection against a terrorist attack on the ground.
  • That the direct and indirect parameters for the level of safety during normal operation - including PSA-analyses, INES figures, accessibility, the frequency of quick-stops and discharge of radiation into the environment - give the impression of a nuclear power plant that is old, outdated and worn-down.
  • That the basic choices in the reactor design are such, that Barsebaeck 2 would not have been granted an operation permit in the USA.
  • That there are indications that the safety culture at the plant is the single largest safety risk during normal operation.

The recommendation not to give the Barsebaeck nuclear power plant an environmental permit, but in stead to decommission the plant as quickly as possible, is also based on an assessment of the effects of a serious accident at the plant. In this connection BBOFF emphasizes the fact

  • That the Barsebaeck nuclear power plant is situated at the centre of the most densely populated area in Scandinavia, only 20 km east of the Danish capital Copenhagen and 15 km north of Malmoe.
  • That an analysis of Barsebaeck 2's reactor inventory - particularly with respect to its content of caesium-137 - indicates a possibility of release scenarios just as serious or more serious than the releases from Chernobyl. The reason is that even though Barsebaeck 2's reactor core is smaller than Chernobyl 4's, it has a higher burn-up rate.
  • That the reports from the Swedish nuclear regulatory authorities that are the basis of the Danish nuclear rescue preparedness include consequence scenarios implying exclusion zones within a distance of 20, 50, 60 and 100 kilometres from the release source dependent of the weather conditions.
  • That the Chernobyl disaster so far has cost Ukraine and its neighbouring country Belarus that was hit the hardest in the order of 3000 billion DKK. However, in 2001 the GNP per capita in Copenhagen and Frederiksberg was almost 16 times higher than the year 2000 GNP per capita in Ukraine and 8 times higher than the year 2000 GNP per capita in Belarus. 
  • The above-mentioned estimates of the possible economic losses caused by a serious accident at the Barsebaeck nuclear power plant are moderate compared to official American assessments of the financial losses deriving from a serious nuclear accident at an U.S. nuclear power station. These estimates put the losses in the order of between 40% and 180% above the losses that have so far been registered from the Chernobyl accident. The German authorities estimate that the financial losses from the worst possible accident at a German nuclear power station are approximately 14 times higher than the figures currently known with respect to the Chernobyl disaster.
  • That the financial losses in Denmark originating from the worst possible accident at the Barsebaeck nuclear power plant will either not be compensated or compensated in the order of a quarter or half of a per cent of the actual losses by the operator and the Swedish state.

Further contravening a recommendation of an environmental permit for the Barsebaeck nuclear power plant is the fact that there are several environmentally friendly alternatives to its activities.

"In BBOFF's opinion there has to be a complete analysis of the total costs of the worst possible accident at Barsebaeck in the official assessment of the plant", says Niels Henrik Hooge, spokesperson for the Danish BBOFF. "Furthermore, extensive environmental impacts assessments should be made and the alternatives to Barsebaeck discussed. Naturally, the interesting thing in this context is a situation where Barsebaeck is not given an environmental permit, but is decommissioned and replaced by other initiatives in the energy field".


Barsebäcksoffensiv - Niels Henrik Hooge, tel. +45 46 35 38 79 and +45 21 83 79 94, E-mail:


NOAH - Friend of the Earth Denmark - Kim Ejlertsen, tel. +45 35 36 12 12, E-mail:


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