Will Finland’s proposed nuclear plant affect Sweden’s North?

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Northern Sweden has expressed opposition to Fennovoima's proposed Pyhäjoki nuclear plant. (Risto Degerman / Yle)
Northern Sweden has expressed opposition to Fennovoima’s proposed Pyhäjoki nuclear plant. (Risto Degerman / Yle)
Northern Sweden is concerned that the proposed nuclear plant in Western Finland would harm neighbouring Sweden’s nature and fish stocks.

At the Finnish Ministry of the Economy and Employment, sending a delegation to Sweden to discuss the contentious issues is on the table.

Fennovoima’s planned Pyhäjoki nuclear plant is being strongly opposed in Northern Sweden. The opposition is set on stopping the plant, which is a Finnish-Russian joint venture.

According to Finland’s Ministry of the Economy and Employment, the protests need to be listened to.

“Yes, the opposition is being taken very seriously. We hope that Fennovoima’s forthcoming environmental impact assessment will ease the concerns expressed by the Swedes. We can also hold an information session for the general public in Sweden,” says the Ministry’s Senior Engineer Jorma Aurela.

Fennovoima’s nuclear plant project moved ahead in late December when the company sealed negotiations with Russia’s Rosatom, which will produce the reactor. Rosatom has also promised to organise the missing funds for the project that resulted when several partners pulled out of the project.

The assessment of the nuclear plant’s environmental impact is slated to be ready in February.

In Sweden, opposition to the plant includes non-governmental groups as well as government officials and local politicians. Their goal is to provoke debate and ultimately prevent construction of the plant all together. Their concerns include nuclear safety as well as the potential destruction of Northern Sweden’s nature and fish stocks.

According to Senior Engineer Aurela, opposition to the plant mainly concerns the nuclear plant’s warm water cooling system and potential nuclear accidents.

Rosatom’s promised financing has also raised suspicions.

The Finnish Ministry has already started putting together a delegation that would travel to Sweden to discuss the concerns raised.

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