Green Party of Finland backs nuclear

The Green Party of Finland has voted to add several pro-nuclear points to their party manifesto which include support for existing reactors and SMRs. This is the first green party to openly support nuclear power, marking a potential turning point in how pro-renewable groups view other clean sources of electricity.

The new section is translated as follows:

Ensuring the safety of nuclear power as part of a sustainable energy palette.

  • Replace the Fennovoima project, which is unsuitable for security policy, by building an equivalent amount of stable, emission-free basic production.
  • Extension permits will be granted to Finland’s existing nuclear reactors if the Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority considers it safe to continue operations.
  • Reform the nuclear energy law and, in particular, streamline the regulation of small nuclear reactors without compromising safety.

On the first point, the “Fennovoima project” refers to a new nuclear plant which was set to begin operation in 2028 but was canceled shortly after construction began. As Fennovoima Ltd, the owner of the plant was established by Russia’s state nuclear company, Rosatom, the decision was made to cancel the project in response to the conflict in Ukraine.

This shift in the party’s stance was supported by Viite, an internal group within the Green League which promotes political decision-making based on scientific knowledge. Also supportive of this initiative was Fridays for Future Finland, the Finnish section of the international movement started by Greta Thunberg

Finland generates a third of its energy from nuclear power, and before this shift from the Greens, 147 of the 200 seats in the Finnish Parliament were filled by representatives whose parties supported the usage of nuclear power. With the 20 seats of the Green Party, or “Green League” now joining that group, nuclear power is supported by over 80% of the legislature. In addition, the country has recently reached its highest ever public support of nuclear power, with 74% in favor of its continued usage. These factors combine to make it clear that the development of nuclear power will not be slowing down in Finland any time soon.

Read more at Alliance For Science: Finland’s Green Party endorses nuclear power, published May 23, 2022, by Mark Lynas.