The issue of Swedish uranium mining has long been controversial. In the early 2000s, hundreds of permits were issued to explore for uranium around the country.
But locally, protests and resistance often arose. In 2018, uranium mining was therefore banned in Sweden, citing the major environmental and health risks associated with uranium mines.
Government wants to lift ban
Now the government seems to want to reverse the decision. Just before the turn of the year, the government announced that new nuclear power will be built and thus the demand for uranium will increase.
According to Environment Minister Romina Pourmokhtari (L), Sweden also needs more uranium to be able to get more fossil-free electricity production. She also believes that an incentive to allow uranium mining in Sweden, despite the risks, is that Sweden is "the best in the world" at safety and environmental considerations when it comes to the mining industry.
– It is important to mine all the minerals we need for the climate transition with respect for environmental laws and how those who live nearby are affected. Sweden is well placed to do so," she says.
Busch (KD): Open to the question of uranium mining
Previously, only the Sweden Democrats have been clearly in favor of uranium mines. The other Tidö parties had a more wait-and-see attitude before the election. It said that today's supply chains to nuclear power are working well, and did not see the need to change them. This is even if there was an opening to change the formal ban, so that companies that mine rare minerals such as vanadium and cobalt, if they also find smaller amounts of uranium, can also use this for better profitability.
Now government representatives are going further, talking about even opening uranium mines. Minister for Energy and Enterprise Ebba Busch also seems positive.
"From the government's side, we are open to the issue of uranium mining, absolutely. We have a lot of uranium we can mine in Sweden. Historically, profitability has not been there, but now it may have changed, she says to SVT.