The Swedish town of Östhammar is one of the 4 sites of this year’s Europan competition. The assignment is to re-develop the waterfront; the program contains a Hotel, a Restaurant and a Spa.
In spite of the local Atomic Power Plant, the village is a holiday destination. On a population of 21.000 there are some 6.000 summerhouses. The municipality seeks to increase popularity with potential tourists while at the same time it is in a bid to locate the premises of the Swedish Nuclear Fuel and Waste Management Co. A mind blowing 85% of the population is in favor of constructing the Nuclear Waste Storage within the city limits.
According to one of the site representatives this unexpected enthusiasm can be explained from the fact that the inhabitants actually TRUST their politicians. They feel represented in the correct manner. You could say the growing ´gap´ between People and Government here is completely absent. Democratic Refuge.
Östhammar has a history in wellness. In 1884 the first bathhouse was opened. The spa offered a wide range of services, including mud baths, pine needle baths and carbon dioxide baths. One explanation for the miraculous passion for radiation perhaps could be found in an old custom: “one key activity of the visitors travelling to Östhammar was the morning march to the nearby Boda spring which featured very healthy radioactive water”…