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What will happen to the Ågesta Nuclear Power Plant?

Our colleague Anna Storm (now professor of technology and social change at Linköping University) has been involved in an intellectual exchange with the state-owned power company Vattenfall about the future of Ågesta Nuclear Power Plant in the context of its decommissioning in the magazine NyTeknik.

In Anna’s first article from 28 July 2022, she displays her consternation by the fact that Sweden’s first nuclear power plant (1963-1974) was already being dismantled, disregarding demands for making this cultural heritage of modern Sweden accessible to a wider audience via the cooperation with musea and heritage scholars. Especially in the case of the iconic control room, Anna objected to the practice of the company.

Five days later, on 02 August, Melker Drottz, the acting head of decommissioning of Ågestaverket from Vattenfall, published a response to Anna in the same magazine. In his eyes, Vattenfall did simply, what they were legally obliged to do. Since the control room, among other facilities, would be an irradiated environment, he objected to Anna’s wishes for creating a cultural venue from this heritage site. Furthermore, he pointed to the various other ways, Vattenfall would contribute to the memory of the Ågesta plant.

One day later, on 03 August, Anna responded by stating that future generations also need the actual sites as witnesses of their cultural history. In her understanding, photographs and oral stories will not be enough.

Photo of Anna Storm
Anna Storm

Here are full citations for this exchange:

Storm, Anna: “Ågestaverket – en unik kärnkraftsanläggning slängd i containrar”, in: NyTeknik, 2022-07-28, [2022-08-09].

Drottz, Melker (operativ chef för nedmontering och rivning av Ågestaverket, Vattenfall): Replik “Vi är skyldiga att montera ned Ågestaverket”, in: NyTeknik, 2022-08-02, [2022-08-09].

Storm, Anna: Slutreplik “Det hade varit möjligt att behålla kontrollrummet från Ågestaverket”, in: NyTeknik, [2022-08-09].

Working as a doctoral student in the Nuclearwaters-Project (ERC Consolidator Grant, PI Per Högselius), I focus on the nuclear history of Eastern Europe, especially on the territory of the former Soviet Union and its successor states. Furthermore, I investigate expert cultures in nuclear discourses, with a special interest in water-related issues in nuclear power plant decision-making. In addition, I am intrigued by the entanglement of the commercial, scientific and political interests concerning nuclear technologies, with its sometimes harsh consequences on human societies and the environment. Recently this interest has extended to energy systems as a whole in Eastern Europe, including fossil fuels and renewables. Questions of transition within international energy systems in the face of the climate crisis and recent political developments become more important, as my work progresses.