Pekkarinen: Export of nuclear electricity could compel Finland to accept waste from abroad

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

inister of Economic Affairs Mauri Pekkarinen (Centre) warns that producing electricity for export in nuclear power plants could oblige Finland to accept imports of nuclear waste from abroad for storage in this country.

Last week, Minister of Finance Jyrki Katainen, who is also the chairman of the conservative National Coalition Party, called for a decision to authorise the construction of two new commercial nuclear reactors during the current Parliamentary term.

Katainen said that such a move would make Finland self-sufficient in electricity production, and would allow Finland to export electricity. Katainen also noted that nuclear energy has no carbon dioxide emissions.

“If we start to produce electricity from nuclear power specifically for export, we would undermine the reasons that we have given for sharply rejecting the possibility of importing nuclear waste from outside for storage in Finland”, Pekkarinen says in an interview with the Jyväskylä-based newspaper Keskisuomalainen.

Pekkarinen feels that it is sufficient for this electoral term to decide on the construction of one large nuclear reactor for Finland.

Finland currently has four nuclear reactors operating in two locations, and a fifth is under construction in Olkiluoto, where two of the existing units are operating.

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