The (de)politicisation of nuclear power: The Finnish discussion after Fukushima

Marja Ylönen (Corresponding Author), Tapio Litmanen, Matti Kojo, Pirita Lindell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

When the Fukushima accident occurred in March 2011, Finland was at the height of a nuclear renaissance, with the Government's decision-in-principle in 2010 to allow construction of two new nuclear reactors. This article examines the nuclear power debate in Finland after Fukushima. We deploy the concepts of (de)politicisation and hyperpoliticisation in the analysis of articles in the country's main newspaper. Our analysis indicates that Finnish nuclear exceptionalism manifested in the safety-related depoliticising and the nation's prosperity-related hyperpoliticisation arguments of the pro-nuclear camp. The anti-nuclear camp used politicisation strategies, such as economic arguments, to show the unprofitability of nuclear power. The Fukushima accident had a clear effect on Finnish nuclear policy: the government programme of 2011 excluded the nuclear new build. However, in 2014 the majority of Parliament again supported nuclear power. Hence, the period after Fukushima until 2014 could be described as continued but undermined loyalty to nuclear power.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)260-274
Number of pages15
JournalPublic Understanding of Science
Volume26
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2017
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

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nuclear power
politicization
Finland
Nuclear energy
Accidents
Nuclear Reactors
Government Programs
Newspapers
accident
Economics
nuclear policy
Safety
government program
nuclear power plant
Nuclear reactors
prosperity
Renaissance
loyalty
parliament
newspaper

Keywords

  • (de)politicisation
  • Finland
  • Fukushima
  • nuclear power debate

Cite this

Ylönen, Marja ; Litmanen, Tapio ; Kojo, Matti ; Lindell, Pirita. / The (de)politicisation of nuclear power : The Finnish discussion after Fukushima. In: Public Understanding of Science. 2017 ; Vol. 26, No. 3. pp. 260-274.
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The (de)politicisation of nuclear power : The Finnish discussion after Fukushima. / Ylönen, Marja (Corresponding Author); Litmanen, Tapio; Kojo, Matti; Lindell, Pirita.

In: Public Understanding of Science, Vol. 26, No. 3, 01.04.2017, p. 260-274.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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