Finland’s nuclear power push

The Finnish parliament today gave final approval for two new nuclear power reactors. [:]The decision follows scandalous technical and financial problems in the Olkiluoto 3 reactor which is still under construction, and a process that overlooked many risks, procedural mistakes and economic facts. The Government managed to pressure the Parliament for a quick approval, in which many committees were not heard, and the number of specialists heard was limited due to the summer break.
Commenting on the decision, Green MEP Heidi Hautala (Finland) said:
“All the facts were speaking against nuclear power. In addition to this there were serious warning signals in the process. For example, there was a clear conflict of interest among high officials and no legal consequence. One may question whether this is against the right for good governance given to all EU citizens in the Lisbon treaty. The alliance of companies and political elite was confirmed earlier with the campaign financing scandals. It may even be that the nuclear package is one of the favours exchanged in the circles of the power elite.”
Green MEP Satu Hassi (Finland) added:
“The EU Commission is investigating one of the benefits given to the nuclear companies, namely the fact that power companies can sell electricity to their shareholders below market price. This in practice means reduced taxation for these companies. The electricity not needed by the shareholders can be sold by them to the markets with huge profits. No other industry sector has such a benefit. This is an incentive to invest in nuclear power in Finland.
Another subsidy to nuclear is the limited liability of nuclear companies; in case of a severe accident it is the taxpayers and the victims who bear the cost. The nuclear liability has not been updated. These subsidies give an unfair benefit to an energy model that is unsustainable, creates very few jobs and does not develop our own expertise in the green energy forms that are rapidly expanding in the world market.”
Rebecca Harms (Germay), chairperson of the Greens/EFA group in the European Parliament said:
“It is regrettable that the Finnish parliament does not trust modern  sustainable energy solutions. In recent years renewable energies have become a booming business in many countries. Furthermore, while other industries have struggled during the economic crisis, the renewable industry has continued to grow. The decision to invest in a high risk technology of the past instead of focusing on the new alternative energies of the future leaves Finland as a developing country in the energy sector. Even more worryingly, Finland will be exporting nuclear energy and will also have to take responsibility for the extra nuclear waste. This is a dangerous move, especially as there is no safe nuclear waste solution available at the moment – if ever.”