Finland's Parliament approves 2 new nuclear reactors

Finland sealed plans to build two new nuclear reactors on Thursday.

Finland's Parliament approves 2 new nuclear reactors

Finland sealed plans to build two new nuclear reactors on Thursday.

Parliament voted 120-72 in support of the reactor proposal from utility Teollisuuden Voima (TVO), and 121-71 for the application from the Fennovoima consortium.

The new reactors are expected to come online by around 2020, raising Finland's total number to seven. Finland's government said in a statement it expected to be in a position to consider construction licences by 2014 at the earliest.

The combined cost of building the two reactors would be around seven to 10 billion euros ($12.24 billion) funded by the consortia building the plants.

Fennovoima's largest owner is Germany's E.ON, with a 34 percent stake, with the remaining 66 percent held by a raft of utilities and firms including stainless steel maker Outokumpu and steel maker Rautaruukki.

TVO's largest share holder, with a stake of some 57 percent, is utility Pohjolan Voima Oy, whose main owners include timber firms UPM-Kymmene and Stora Enso. The second largest owner in TVO is utility Fortum, with around a one-quarter stake.

Finland's fifth reactor, under construction by France's Areva for TVO and originally due to come on stream in 2009, has been plagued by delays and disputes and is only expected to start producing electricity in 2013.

Critics said debate about the plans was pushed through without enough time for discussion, and Finland was missing a chance to invest in greener technology and energy. Potential safety issues were not a large part of the debate.

"Protest"


Debate surrounding the Finnish vote heated up earlier in the week, with Greenpeace unveiling a massive tombstone to energy "selfishness" on Tuesday and promising to engrave on it the names of all parliamentarians who vote for extra nuclear power.

Following the TVO vote there was a delay as three protestors yelled out against the decision and threw confetti down on parliamentarians, shouting "shame on you". Security personnel eventually dragged the protestors out of the hall.

The vote came in a rare summer session for parliament due to a delay in assembling material for the votes, marking its first July sitting since 1962.


Reuters

Güncelleme Tarihi: 01 Temmuz 2010, 16:06

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