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Parliament Votes in Favour of New Nuclear Reactors

Parliament has given its approval to granting permits for the construction of two new commercial nuclear reactors, as well as the expansion of a storage site for nuclear waste.

Image: Yle

In a session on Thursday morning, MPs voted 120 to 72 in favour of a new reactor to be built by energy company Teollisuuden Voima in Olkiluoto. They voted 121 to 71 in favour of another reactor to be built by Fennovoima in either Simo or Pyhäjoki in northern Finland. The construction will bring the number of reactors in Finland to seven.

MPs also voted 159 to 35 in favour of expanding the Posiva nuclear waste storage site.

The decision came after two days of intense debate. In particular, exchanges were heated between Minister of Economic Affairs Mauri Pekkarinen of the Centre Party and Left Alliance chair Paavo Arhinmäki.

Parliamentarians from the National Coalition, Centre and Social Democratic Party showed the strongest support for the reactors. The Greens and Left Alliance were most opposed. Parties allowed MPs to vote their conscience on the matter.

Protest inside Chamber

The vote on expanding the nuclear waste storage site was interrupted by protesters who entered the Parliamentary chambers.

Parliamentary staff removed the demonstrators who were singing the Finnish National Anthem.

The legislature has adjourned for its summer recess. Its next full session is scheduled for September 7.

Anti-Nuclear Energy Protestors Demonstrate outside Parliament

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