Sweden's first nuclear power station is "virtually certain" to close tomorrow, after operating company Sydkraft's last hopes of a legal challenge to a government decommissioning order evaporated this morning. The Swedish Supreme Court voted by three to two not to grant a stay of execution for the Barsebäck I plant pending an adjudication from the European Commission on whether the order conflicts with competition regulations, although it decided that there was a case to answer on this point. Sydkraft argues that there was a conflict of interest when the government ruled the plant should close as the first step in a complete phase-out of nuclear power, since it is a direct competitor through its ownership of the largest national power company, Vattenfall. A second court action, for an entire rehearing of the case on legal and environmental grounds, failed last week (ENDS Daily 16 November). The mood today at Sydkraft was one of "rather neutral" resignation, with the agenda clearly moving on to focus on the compensation the company hopes receive from the government. "Constructive and positive" negotiations on this score are expect to wrap up soon, vice president for information Stieg Claesson told ENDS Daily.
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