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12 theses of energy politics

1. Electricity consumption will increase steadily. It is not sure yet that the sixth unit completed in 2012-2015 would have over 6,000 hours’ usage per annum. This amount must be exceeded quite clearly so that the investment would be worth advancing. Electricity can be easily sold abroad, in case the distribution network is strengthened and further constructed. In the Nordic markets nuclear electricity is highly profitable.

2. While standard of living rises, electricity consumption increases particularly in summer, as more and more electric air conditioners are put to use. The wattage demand of them is bigger than heating same level of degrees. A cooler suitable for a small two-room flat costs only approximately one thousand euros.

3. Electricity is a highly pure fuel when produced by hydro- or nuclear power. Considering environment, replacing electricity with other forms of energy can be a much worse alternative than replacing a greater amount of fossil producing capacity with nuclear power. Constructing Vuotos pool would have been the greatest individual investment in producing renewable electricity.

Minister of the Environment, Jan-Erik Enestam, is trying to get the so-called Kemihaara swamps located in that area incorporated in Natura. This way the pool project could be buried for good, which would be disadvantageous to tax payers in several ways.

4. In 1970s, there were plans to locate four units in Hästholmen in Loviisa. Those units were smaller than the ones now in markets. Predictions for electricity consumption were so overestimated at that time that it was planned to locate 24 nuclear power units along the west coast of Finland.

5. Fortum has made thorough environmental impacts assessments for locating a third unit in Loviisa. The reports are quite easily updated but some additions must be made at least to the safety assessments. According to the new requirements of STUK, new nuclear power plants must be terror-proof.

6. The present two plants will at some point become to the end of their economic operating time. Possible decommissioning of them is a long-standing project. Total costs would be remarkably lower, if there was an operating power plant close to the old one. That way people working in the decommissioning project could also work at the operating plant, while waiting for the next phase of decommissioning. As the plant has some parts that are radiant and require final disposal, it requires controlling and guarding for a long time after closing down and the fuel has been transported.

7. The present plants in Loviisa are fast connected to the national network. Therefore it is justified that the sixth plant would use the same cables. The present poles even have empty “branches” waiting for more cables.

8. Constructing the fifth plant is financially such a great effort for TVO, which produces electricity at cost that the sixth plant should be constructed by Fortum. As oil business has been separated, it should improve focusing Fortum’s electricity business to more competitive and commercial ways of electricity production, of which nuclear power is the best according to modern knowledge.

9. Future prospects of Finnish nuclear power are improved by the fact that other countries do not want to increase nuclear power because of the Green’s silliness. However, nature religion is collapsing elsewhere as well because of vast credibility gap and the facts of natural sciences. Thus it may be possible that new investment decisions are to be made in other Western countries besides Finland, France and the United States, where two new projects have been started this autumn.

10. Emissions trading will weaken burning plants’ competitiveness remarkably and improve profitability of nuclear power and hydro power. If the sixth nuclear power plant is build merely for electricity production, replacing coal in CHP-production (Combined Heat and Power) would probably have to be considered. The emissions trading directive promoted by the Green may force Finland (and many others) to further increase nuclear power, which all the green movements in the world (excluding the JärkiVihreät, Wise-Use Movement) have dogmatically opposed since the begin of their history.

The emissions trading began in the EU January 1st 2005. Decision of the preliminary distribution is going to be made by the Council of State. As Russia, United States and Australia did not ratify the Kyoto Protocol, competitiveness of heavy industry in the EU weakens because of increase in energy price among other things. Finnish industry has felt the emissions trading mechanism unfair, as we have already carried out several actions, which the other countries are just planning to do.

11. Finland’s position in competing for new nuclear power plants is improved also because there is no political realism to start increasing nuclear power in the West. In East and South there are not enough economical resources for large new investments. In Russia environmental issues or climate change are not going to become politically significant themes for a long time, which guarantees a long overtime for using natural gas, coal and oil. Possibilities of increasing hydro power are almost used in the Nordic countries. Price changes of hydro power have also turned out to be rather troublesome in the shortage faced recently. Nordpool has already calculated next winter’s electricity capacities and noted that electricity service in the Nordic countries must be supported by import. Limitations of import capacity become a problem in a situation, in which a major domestic unit is defected during consuming peak and it must be removed from the network. Next winter we will probably see a situation, in which consumption in some industrial plants must be limited because of rapid malfunction and lack of electricity. Preparedness for this must be primarily in Norway’s aluminium foundries, whose profitability weakens while electricity price rises.

12. The negative nuclear power decision organized by the Green and the present Prime Minister, Matti Vanhanen in 1993, causes nowadays growing pressure to decrease carbon dioxide emissions. According to latest information, traffic in Pori harbour has been over five million tons for the first time, as coal has been transported continually to Pori’s coal power plants, which have been in use all year. Whole fuel maintenance of a nuclear power plant requires no more than a couple of shiploads of new rods per annum. Even those shippings are not necessary, if nearly non-radiant new fuel is stored more beforehand for example in the plant area. This way it is possible to reduce dependency on raw material price changes and transportations during possible restless times. By using nuclear power we reduce dependency on weather and indirect emissions, because need for transportation is reduced among other things.

Professor Attila Aszódi's Open letter to MEP Rebecca Harms

Australia goes nuclear

New Renaissance for nuclear energy

Finnish nuclear industry investing for the future

Sweden shut down Barsebäck second
May 31st 2005

Is nuclear energy really dangerous?


Last modified May 5th 2008