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Political explosive power

Nuclear technology spreads to other countries from a mountain hall in Halden. The matter splits the government.


By Tarjei Leer-Salvesen and Harald Eraker

"Five, four, three, two, one, zero – contaminated!"

The metallic female voice over the loudspeaker system sounds the alarm: The instruments in the lock show that Ny Tid's emissaries have too high a dose of radiation in the body to let out.

We are in the holiest of all in the Halden reactor, where Norway tests fuel spells for the nuclear industry in 19 countries. This is where it happens, in the actual reactor hall 100 meters inside the mountain.

Despite the white, almost full-coverage protective suit, and warnings not to touch anything, Ny Tid's journalist has received a dose of radiation somewhere on his body that affects the measuring instruments.

Tor Arne Gulbrandsen, fuel accountant in the Halden reactor, reads some incomprehensible figures on the screen and dramatizes it all.

- You can try to wash your hands properly again and try again, he says.

"Five, four, three, two, one, zero – clean!"

It is uncertain how long people will pass through these locks in the Norwegian nuclear reactor. The Department of Energy Technology (Ife) has a license to operate it for two more years. Whether they can continue after that is a question now being addressed by the government parties. And they do not agree.

The conflict is about SV's principled negative attitude towards nuclear power, about Sellafield, and about a controversial nuclear fuel called Mox, as is being researched. . .

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