Nuclear decision defying international trends


PRESS RELEASE – Brussels, 24 May 2002

Finnish Parliament approved the 5th nuclear power plant

The Greens/EFA Group in the European Parliament today expressed its disappointment with the Finnish parliament’s decision (by 107-92 votes) in favour of permitting the construction of a fifth nuclear reactor in the country. [:]

Monica Frassoni, Co-President of the Green/EFA Group said:

“This nuclear decision defies all international trends. The Finnish Parliament is shouldering an enormous responsibility in allowing an opening for a nuclear energy comeback at the European and international level.

“It’s sad to see that Finland has rejected the reasoned decisions taken by Germany, Sweden and Belgium to give a time table for phasing out the use of nuclear energy in their countries. No doubt, the Finnish decision will be hailed at the headquarters of the nuclear lobby.”

Finnish Green MEP Heidi Hautala said after the vote:

“The particular responsibility for this decision lies in the hands of Prime Minister Paavo Lipponen and the bulk of his Social Democratic Party. This is a loss for the use of renewable energy sources and for the development of new energy efficient technology.

“It is extremely worrying that the Finnish decision may encourage more nuclear energy in countries such as Russia and Ukraine which do not even have the level of safety of the more technologically advanced western countries.

“It is a total illusion to assume that the global climate problem could be solved with nuclear power. If nuclear energy use was to be doubled from the current 7 per cent in the world during the next 25 years, one new nuclear plant would have to be built every week. This would of course produce equally immense safety risks and nuclear waste problems.

The Finnish Greens worked hard against the new nuclear power plant at all stages of the decision-making process. In the government, the two Green ministers voted against the proposal, and the Greens were the only group in the Parliament that was united and unanimously against the decision.”

The Green League of Finland will take a decision on Sunday, May 26, on the future of its participation in the present government coalition. According to Heidi Hautala MEP, former president of the League, it is impossible, in terms of the Finnish Greens’ credibility, to stay in a coalition that has wasted an opportunity to promote sustainable development.

In the future, the Finnish Greens will continue working to ensure that the renewable energy sources and energy saving are taken seriously, as demanded by the Parliament in a motion accepted today.


Press Service of the Greens/EFA Group in the European Parliament