Finnish Parliament Stakes Energy Future on Controversial Russian Nuclear Plant

Finnish lawmakers voted in 115-74 in favour of granting a permit to the Finnish energy consortium, Fennovoima, to build a controversial nuclear power plant from Russian state nuclear agency Rosatom on Friday. The Kremlin agency will own a stake in the power plant to be built in Pyhäjoki in northwestern Finland.

A number of Finnish MP’s have raised concerns about the risks of increasing Finnish reliance on Russian energy as most other European countries move in the opposite direction.

Finnish environmental advocate and writer, Risto Isomäki, echoed earlier warnings from other nuclear experts about serious design and construction flaws in the Rosatom plant. In an open letter to Finnish parliamentarians Isomäki warns that a similar plant built in Kundakulemin, Indiam has been shutdown a number of times over the past year for maintenance.

Risto Isomäki Photo: Anneli Salo

Kudankulamin VVER-1000 reactor has in fact since been stopped 19 times. It has come to a halt by itself 14 times and 5 times stopped deliberately for repair and maintenance work” writes Isomäki.

He continues citing that “in late spring and summer of 2014 the Kudankulamin VVER-1000 reactor attempts were made for the reactor to pass final tests a total of seven (!) Different times. All attempts failed.”

According to Isomäki, the Russian built reactor has been shut down since September “and no one knows what will happen next, even though the President of India has made promises I guess the fact that the reactor is started again, even in December.

Nuclear physicist, Nils Bøhmer, warned earlier that “the plant causes real safety concerns and inevitable cost overruns that will eventually fall into the laps of Finnish taxpayers.”


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