Finland does not need new nuclear plants: Minister
Helsinki: Finland does not need three new nuclear plants to secure its future energy needs, the minister who is preparing a government proposal on the subject said in an interview published on Monday.
"We have made calculations of what the need is, and estimates of how the need will be fulfilled. Three nuclear plants are not needed," Economic Affairs Minister Mauri Pekkarinen told leading daily Helsingin Sanomat.
Prime Minister Vanhanen has made similar remarks in the past and in an interview with regional newspapers Laensi-Savo and Itae-Savo published on Sunday he said it was not possible to give building permits for three new nuclear reactors at this time.
Finland is currently building its fifth nuclear reactor, and the government is due to respond this month to the applications of three utility groups -- Fortum, Teollisuuden Voima (TVO) and Fennovoima -- to build a further reactor each.
The decision will also need approval by Parliament.
The National Coalition Party, which is in the coalition government with Vanhanen's Centre Party, has said three new reactors are necessary, while the Green League, which is also in government, is opposed to building any new reactors.
In addition to the nuclear decision, the government is putting together a proposal for boosting the proportion of renewables in energy generation.