In Finland, Green Party Candidates Support Nuclear Power

Four Green Party candidates in Finland, acknowledging their party's long-standing opposition to nuclear power, called for a reversal on that stance last week, noting that the government's “current bio-energy policy is … a disaster for both the climate and the Finnish nature.”

Fennovoima NPPThe four candidates also noted that about a third of the Green Party members would already “accept nuclear power, at least under some conditions,” and said it was time for “an open discussion,” on the topic despite its history as a “topic that divides opinions very strongly.” The candidates also said it was an issue that would not splinter the Green Party, as it held onto the party's core beliefs of “responsibility for the environment and the future, freedom for all, and caring for other people.”

Pointedly, the four candidates, Jakke Makela, Tuomo Liljenback, Markus Norrgran and Heidi Niskanen, said their interpretation of the Green Party's platform “does not rule out modern and possibly more economical nuclear technologies, such as small nuclear reactors.”

About a third of Finland's electricity is generated at four nuclear power plants with a new plant at Fennovoima under construction. The candidates noted that the Fennovoima has divided Green party members. It is expected to go on line by 2025, with Russian state company Rosatom owning a 34 percent share in the project.

While acknowledging there are politically unpopular repercussions associated with having a Russian company that involved in a Finnish nuclear power plant project, the candidates said there was no longer any other options except a full commitment to a reduced-carbon society. “We need to get rid of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere now, not 50 years hence,” the candidates said in a co-written opinion piece. “Currently, it is completely clear that getting rid of fossil fuels is the most important goal,” they said.

As noted in a Forbes article, the turn in opinions in Finland is significant. The Green Party was a major contender in recent elections, taking 12 percent of the total vote and now ranking second or third in several major cities, including Helsinki. The election involved 8,000 positions in 311 municipalities. Among the election news in Finland, over a hundred candidates from various parties signed a petition asking for a government study on a nuclear power option that would provide heat for Finnish cities, Forbes noted.

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  • Anonymous

    So humans exhale Carbon Dioxide and trees absorb it, and in fact need it, and these guys want to eliminate it?

  • Anonymous

    The headline is very misleading. Four candidates out of 2600 has expressed this view and none of these four candidates actually got elected in the recent municipal election. The Green League in Finland has opposed any additional nuclear power.