SWEDEN: EXPLOSIVES FOUND NEAR NUKE PLANT

The Washington Times on June 21, 2012, published an AP report on Sweden raising the security alert for the country’s three nuclear power plants after explosives were found on a truck at the southwestern Ringhals atomic power station. Police said they were investigating possible sabotage. Excerpts below:

Bomb sniffer dogs detected the explosives during a routine check Wednesday afternoon by security staff while the truck was in the power plant’s industrial area near its high security enclosure. Police declined to describe the amount or type of explosive material found.

Police spokesman Tommy Nyman said officers were investigating possible sabotage but had no suspects. He said the driver of the truck had been unaware of the explosives placed in the vehicle and was not suspected of being involved.

The area surrounding the truck was evacuated and cordoned off.

Four nuclear reactors are at Ringhals, 70 kilometers (45 miles) south of Sweden’s second-largest city, Goteborg. The plant is controlled by energy companies Vattenfall and E.ON.

The Swedish Radiation Safety Authority said the explosive material was found on the truck “en route from the Ringhals industrial park into a protected area … and did not enter the facility.”

Ringhals officials said an explosion on the truck would not have caused “any serious damage” to the site but did not elaborate on how they came to that assessment.

Sweden has 10 nuclear reactors at the country’s three power plants: Ringhals, Forsmark and Oskarshamn — providing about half of the country’s electricity.

Ringhals was rated at one — situation “normal” — but after the incident, the nuclear authority said it raised the security alert by a notch to 2.

Security at Swedish nuclear plants has been criticized on several past occasions.

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