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Greenpeace activists occupy Finnish nuclear site May 31, 2007

Posted by Andreas in activism, Environment, News, Nuclear Power.

Found out about this on the Greenpeace website today:

Six Greenpeace activists continue[d] their two-day occupation of a 100-meter-high construction crane at the heart of the reactor Olkiluoto 3 construction site in Finland. The activists have positioned themselves 80 meter up in the crane. The occupation is a protest against the 1500 safety problems that have been revealed during construction of the plant.

[…]On Monday, activists blockaded the entrance to the Olkiluoto nuclear plant construction site – temporarily shutting down a project already massively over budget and plagued by more than one thousand reported breaches of safety standards.

Police arrested the activist in the blockade, but six activists went into the site and climbed 80 metres up the highest construction crane. They stayed there over night, through the next day and through a second chilly night with temperatures dropping into the low teens (Centigrade).

Today, three of the activist (2 from the UK, 1 from France) made the long climb down, leaving their supplies for the three Finnish activists remaining on the crane. These last activists try to hold out at least until Friday when the EU Energy Commissioner, Andris Piebalgs, is scheduled to visit.

“Safety rules are being bent to save time and money, said Lauri Myllyvirta”, one of the activists occupying the crane. “This is completely unacceptable for a nuclear power project. An evaluation is urgently needed so that the myth of cheap and safe nuclear energy is dispersed. Nuclear is and cannot be a solution to the threat of climate change”, he continued.

Police are keeping journalists out of what is supposedly a “secure” area – preventing them from taking photos of the activists on the crane. But two other activists walked in and wandered around the construction site for hours.

What’s wrong at Olkiluto

  • It’s massively behind schedule. Construction that was supposed to take four years will now take at least six.
  • It’s massively over budget. The original cost estimate was 2.5 billion euros. Now it’s expected to top 4 billion euros.
  • The project was supposed to require no public subsidies. In reality it is reliant on an export guarantee financed by French taxpayers and a dirt-cheap loan from public banks.
  • The original quality requirements weren’t being met – so they were relaxed. The consequences of a faulty reactor being put into service could be disastrous.

And besides all that, nuclear power is a nightmare of problems in general. There’s no proven solution to the piles of waste, encouraging more people to use nuclear power leads to nuclear weapons proliferation, the plants are ready made terrorist targets… It’s a costly and dangerous distraction from real solutions to climate change like saving energy and renewable power. In Finland, for example, energy consumption by new buildings can be cut by more than 70 percent.

That’s why construction should stop now – before any more money and time is wasted. The responsible company, Teollisuuden Voima Oy, should also publish all 1,000+ quality problems, and repay the state aid it has received for the reactors.



1. Steve for Anaerobic Digestion not Nuclear - June 2, 2007

This is worrying indeed if there is really no regulating body in Finland to check that construction quality is mainatined.

Another way to produce sustainable renewable energy is by Anaerobic Digestion of organic waste materials and there are lots of these wastes, plus they are mostly at the moment being sent to landfill.

Use Anaerobic Digestion in your waste disposal techniques and you also reduce volume/mass going to landfills.

Not only that. Anaerobic Digestion removes the readily degradable portion of the organic matter in municipal wastes, so that even if these materials were then sent to landfill the landfills would be much nicer, and far less damaging to the environment.

I hope you don’t mind me talking about what I think should be the next “big thing” for renewable energy generation. Are the Fins really doing as much as they can to encourage anaerobic digestion instead of nuclear?

Interested in the AD process?

Our Anaerobic Digestion web site is all about renewable energy from waste materials; click here.

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