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PM Katainen: Gov’t "can’t afford splits" over Fennovoima

Prime Minister Jyrki Katainen says that the government cannot afford political splits on the issue of Fennovoima's new nuclear reactor. Speaking during an Yle radio interview, the PM said that the issue required careful consideration.

Jyrki Katainen
Prime Minister Jyrki Katainen Image: Vesa Moilanen / Lehtikuva

Fennovoima’s plans to build a new nuclear power plant at Pyhäjoki in Ostrobothnia have changed since the German firm E.ON left the consortium and was replaced by the Russian company Rosatom.

Pyhäjoki is now expected to be home to a 1200 MW Hanhikivi-1 reactor provided by Rosatom, but such a change requires approval by parliament.

Finance Minister Jutta Urpilainen said on Saturday that she wanted to see the new permit before parliament as quickly as possible. That statement brought a sharp response from Green League chair Ville Niinistö, who said political decisions should not be taken before reports on the new plans had been prepared.

Minister for Employment and the Economy Jan Vapaavuori also warned against rushing in to any policy decisions.

Premier Katainen joined the debate on Sunday, urging caution.

He said that he does not want to take a view on whether Fennovoima's new plans should be returned to parliament. He added that the matter should be handled very carefully.

He did say, however, that permission to build a new reactor had already been granted in principle, and felt that it was unlikely if not impossible that the project might now collapse.

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