115 in favour and 74 against. Finland’s Parliament granted on Friday permission to the Fennovoima power consortium to construct a single-reactor nuclear power plant in Pyhäjoki.
When in operation, the plant will be the third nuclear power plant in Finland and the second in the Barents Region. Finland’s two other nuclear power plants are located in the south, while Kola nuclear power plant in Russia is the only one in the Barents Region.
Earlier this week, BarentsObserver reported that Fortum takes over a 15 percent stake in Fennovoima nuclear power plant project. With the deal, the domestic ownership of Fennovoima will surpass the minimum 60 percent required by the Finnish Government.
Russia’s state nuclear company Rosatom holds a 34 percent stake in the company. The reactor to be built is the not-yet commissioned 1200 MW AES-2006.
The nuclear power plant project is highly controversial in Finland. In September, the coalition party Green League decided to leave the government after a majority voted “yes” to the plant.
A survey made after Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea, the respondents said they were more sceptical to the project with Rosatom as supplier of the reactor.
Parliament member from Swedish People’s Party of Finland, Stefan Wallin decided to cast a blank vote on Friday.
“It does not my habit to vote blank, but I have two opinions on the matter. I support more nuclear power, but in the current geopolitical situation after what happened in eastern Ukraine and with the EU’s trade sanctions, I could not vote for a project where Rosatom is a major owner,” Wallin told Hufvudstadsbladet.
In neighbouring Sweden, the NGO network Kärnkraftsfritt Bottenviken (Nuclear free Gulf of Bothnia) is opposing the plans arguing an accident could contaminate both countries. Members are Friday posting strong protests at the Facebook site of the network.