Activists demonstrate against the coal power of nuclear companies

Seven Greenpeace activists have occupied the chimney of Meri-Pori and Tahkoluoto coal power plants in Finland, Pori. They have hanged a banner that demands stopping CO2 emissions and nuclear power.

They are taking action to expose the climate bluff of the nuclear industry, carrying banners reading “Stop coal and nuclear”. The Olkiluoto 3 nuclear power plant was supposed to help close down dirty coal and peat fired power plants. Now the owners of the new reactor, far from cutting down on the use of dirty fuels, are building new polluting power stations. The unit of two coal power plants in Pori is the coal-fired power station with biggest emissions in Finland. The activists intend to carry on with the protest until Saturday evening. Greenpeace calls on industrialized countries to commit to binding reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and massive investment in sustainable energy in the decisive UN climate summit at the end of the year in Copenhagen. Two largest nuclear companies in Finland, PVO and Fortum, plan to build a total of eight predominantly fossil-fuel fired power plants that would spew out a total of four million tons of carbon dioxide yearly, equivalent to each car owner in Finland driving 25 km more each day. Despite enormous remaining potential for renewable energy, only a fourth of investments in new generating capacity go into renewables in Finland, far less than the EU average. ”When Finnish parliament voted on Olkiluoto 3, the MPs were promised that a new nuclear reactor would enable us to shut down coal and peat fired power plants. The promise will not be fulfilled, but now the same illusion is used to push for even more nuclear. Even the power industry’s own calculations show that they have no intention to cut down on coal and peat. To the contrary, they build new, fossil-fired plants”, said Greenpeace activist Lauri Myllyvirta, who is taking part in the action. ”During this decade, renewable energy has made a global breakthrough. Because of the nuclear decision, Finland has lost ten years in the development of sustainable energy. Finnish government’s lack of commitment in emission reductions and misguided belief in nuclear power is leading to the construction new, dirty power plants. Now’s the time to direct investments into more efficient use of energy and renewables,” Kyllönen continued. Finland’s power industry is not proposing anything near the needed emission reductions. In their electricity production scenarios, 2-3 three large nuclear reactors are built after Olkiluoto 3, but GHG emissions from the power sector remain above 1990 levels even in 2030. The largest coal investments in the pipeline are PVO’s projects in Kotka and Kristiinankaupunki as well as Fortum’s project in Naantali. In addition, the companies plan even more investments in peat, which is a domestic Finnish fuel with even higher GHG emissions than coal. Reducing waste of energy and investment in renewable energy sources would enable Finland to rapidly reduce reliance on dirty coal, peat and nuclear energy. Low energy housing can cut heat demand by an amount equal to the electric output of two Olkiluoto 3 size nuclear reactors in 20 years. Smart appliances in households, services and industry can save the equivalent of one reactor in ten years. Fuel-efficient cars and shift away from private vehicles can cut oil consumption by the equivalent of one reactor. Bioenergy can provide three reactors worth of additional energy in 10 years. Biomass heating and heat pumps can replace almost a reactor worth of electric and oil-based heating. Wind power can, in 10 years, churn out as much electricity as one reactor. Greenpeace briefing on nuclear and climate in Finland: http://www.greenpeace.org/raw/content/finland/fi/dokumentit/backgrounder-time-for-energy.pdf Images later on Friday.

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