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No Clues Yet in Probe of Explosives at Swedish Atomic Energy Plant

Swedish authorities are still at a loss as to who placed a small quantity of explosive material on a forklift on the premises of an atomic energy production site, the Associated Press reported on Friday (see GSN, June 21).

The material was discovered on Wednesday during a standard security search as the vehicle waited to cross into a more secure area of the Ringhals atomic plant that houses four nuclear reactors.

Law enforcement officials have finished going over the power plant in southwestern Sweden, but they did not turn up any other bomb ingredients, police spokesman Tommy Nyman said on Friday. "There's no suspect and we're trying to find out the motive now ... how could it get in there, and why."

Local police spokeswoman Gith Thedvall said the explosives "must have been brought in by someone who came through the control gates" that separate the atomic site from the outside world.

"It's serious that someone tries to bring in explosives to a nuclear plant. But it was a really stupid thing to do because there's a 100-percent certainty that it would have been discovered," Ringhals plant spokesman Gosta Larsen said. "It would never have made its way through."

The nation's three atomic facilities were placed on increased lookout for potential dangers after the explosive material was found.

Ringhals and the Swedish atomic energy sector were criticized by opponents who said the incident demonstrated how open to attack nuclear reactor sites are.

The Swedish Radiation Safety Authority is not taking the Ringhals episode lightly though it is waiting for law enforcement officials to wrap up their investigation before making any decisions on new security standards, agency spokesman David Persson said. 

"We're following this closely," Persson said. "There definitely shouldn't be any explosive materials near a nuclear plant, but it's positive that they found it" (Louise Nordstrom, Associated Press/Denver Post, June 22).

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