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Climate bluff


It can be claimed that the fifth nuclear reactor was ‘sold’ to Finnish politicians as a cost effective solution for climate change. Now, roughly four years after the decision in the parliament in spring 2002, one can conclude that climate talk around nuclear was only bluff. The same companies, trade unions and politicians that claimed to be deeply worried about climate change before the nuclear decision, have since campaigned loudly against EU emission trading and more or less openly against the Kyoto protocol too. There have also been demands for EU to abandon its role as a leader in the international climate negotiations.

Many of the fears that environmental NGOs had about the effects of the nuclear decision to the energy policy, are becoming true. Energy efficiency and renewables are not real issues anymore, not to mention giving up coal. Those were stated to be priorities before the nuclear decision.

The employment effects of the reactor project have also not become . Finns were promised tens of thousands of jobs from the project. Most of the subcontracts have gone to foreign companies and Finnish companies got mostly basic construction work land clearing etc. Many contractors have imported foreign workers. The situation is so strongly against what was promised before hand that labour unions of the construction sector, traditionally strong proponents of nuclear power, have publicly doubted if they will promote nuclear projects again. The renewable energy technology manufacturers in Finland can employ significantly more people than nuclear power project per produced capacity unit, but their voice was not heard in the Finnish parliament.