3000 demonstrators call on Finnish MPs to turn down nuclear applications

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In Finland’s largest environmental demonstration for almost a decade, over 3000 people marched today for safe clean energy, against the expansion of nuclear power and nuclear waste in Finland. A key demand from the demonstration was for Finnish MPs to vote against the
ministers’ irresponsible plan of authorizing the construction of two new nuclear reactors.

“We gathered today to urge the MPs to reject the construction of two new nuclear reactors. These plans would turn Finland into a massive exporter of nuclear electricity and the world’s largest producer of nuclear waste per person. The expansion would also result in a second
high-level nuclear waste dump in Finland, on top of the one being planned in Olkiluoto. It is time for each and every citizen who wants investment in safe clean energy to speak up and tell their MPs to stop the nuclear plans,” said Greenpeace energy campaigner Lauri
Myllyvirta.

“The nuclear industry’s intense marketing and lobbying has failed to convince the Finnish people, especially after the promises over Olkiluoto 3 nuclear power plant have been exposed as completely false. In a recent poll, less than 15 percent of the population is prepared
to accept the ministers’ proposal of two new reactors. An overwhelming majority want investment in clean renewable energy rather than nuclear power,” Myllyvirta continued.

The front of the rally comprised two sections: the first section, dressed in yellow and black, calling for protecting future generations from the risks of nuclear power; the second, dressed in white and green outfits, demanding renewable energy and energy saving technologies be placed at the heart of Finnish energy policy. The first bloc was also spearheaded by prams with radiation signs in honour of mother’s day. The theme of the demonstration was “A
radioactive or a renewable heritage?”. The large banners read “Safe
Energy Now!” and “More Nuclear Waste for the Kids?”.

The demonstration is being organised by the five environmental
organisations and seven political youth organisations that run the
Vote Farewell to Nuclear campaign. More than 26 000 voters have
already pledged not to vote in the next general elections for an MP
who currently supports new nuclear power plants. Finnish musicians
will perform and five MPs from different parties will delivere
speeches at the rally. The event starts at 12 pm at Railway Station
Square moving towards Parliament at 3 p.m.

The political youth organisations behind the campaign represent three
out of four governing parties, the Centre, Swedish Folk Party and
Greens, as well as those of the two largest opposition parties, the
Social Democrats and the Left. The environmental organisations in the
coalition are the Finnish Association for Nature Conservation, Finnish
Society for Nature and Environment, Friends of the Earth, Finnish
Nature League and Greenpeace.

Finland’s electricity needs can be amply covered by deploying the
potential for biomass-fired generation and wind power, as well as by
making energy use smarter and reducing the reliance on electric
heating . Over 10 years these solutions can deliver three times the
electric output of the proposed Olkiluoto 3. Implementing these
solutions would put tens of thousands of Finns into work both by
boosting the domestic market and enabling the growth of export
industries.

For photos, visit www.flickr.com/ydinvoimahistoriaan
Vote Farewell to Nuclear campaign webpages www.ydinvoima.fi

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