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Fennovoima allowed compulsory land purchases near nuclear site

Some 250 landowners could face forced sales unless they agree to sell within the next few months.

Havainnekuva suunnitellusta ydinvoimalasta.
The nuclear station is to be built on the Hanhikivi peninsula near Raahe. Image: Fennovoima

The government has granted the Fennovoima consortium the right to force landowners to sell property near its planned nuclear power plant in Pyhäjoki, north-western Finland.

On Thursday the Council of State approved Fennovoima’s request to expropriate four areas totalling more than 100 hectares on the Hanhikivi peninsula. Some of the land is in the neighbouring municipality of Raahe. About half of the total is in or around the village of Parhalahti in Pyhäjoki, North Ostrobothnia.

According to Pro Hanhikivi, a local association that opposes the construction of the plant, some 250 landowners could face compulsory purchase unless they agree to sell within the next few months.

Eminent domain

The decision is based on the principle of eminent domain, whereby a state can give a corporation the right to buy land – even against the owner’s wishes – in the name of a greater societal benefit, specified in this case as the energy needs of the nation.

Fennovoima needs to control and be able to restrict access to land and sea areas around its planned plant for safety reasons.

Last week, Parliament gave Fennovoima preliminary permission to move ahead with the project. However an actual construction permit has not yet been approved.

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