Finland: Coalition of Rationality Votes for Nuclear Energy

Berlin, 01.07.2010

The German Atomic Forum welcomes the result of today´s vote in the Finnish parliament on applications for the construction of two new nuclear power plants because this means that the members of parliament acknowledge the huge importance of nuclear power for climate protection and economic development. Energy supplier TVO´s Olkiluoto 4 project received 120 parliamentary votes for and 72 against. Energy supplier Fennovoima Oy´s application for the construction of a nuclear power plant in either Simo or Pyhäjoki received 121 yes votes and 71 no votes.

Even more impressive than the lead achieved by the supporters of nuclear power is their party political make-up. Although the 14 members of the Green League, who together with the Centre Party, the National Coalition Party and the Swedish People´s Party form a government coalition, voted unanimously against the two new construction applications by TVO and Fennovoima Oy, they were supported by 24 and 22 members respectively of the opposing Social Democrats, while 17 and 18 fraction members respectively were against and 3 and 4 fraction members respectively abstained.

Waste management company Posiva Oy´s application for expansion of the planned final repository for highly-active waste at the Olkiluoto site following approval of the construction of Olkiluoto 4 received an even higher number of votes in favour than the two new nuclear power plants. 159 members of parliament voted for expansion of the final repository and 35 against.

Dr. Ralf Güldner, President of the German Atomic Forum, said, "All of these decisions in the Finnish parliament are the result of a cross-party coalition of rationality. With far-sightedness the members of parliament accept nuclear energy?s contribution to efficient climate protection and long-term security of supply. Even if the construction of new nuclear power plants in Germany is not up for debate, for us Finland is a role model when it comes to ideology-free discussion and a sustainable as well as realistic approach to nuclear energy."

The four-party government coalition holds 126 of the 200 seats in the Finnish parliament. Despite the two new construction decisions, the Green League will most probably not resign from it.

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