Finland approves uranium mining
The Finnish government granted Terrafame mining company in Kainuu permission to mine and process uranium last week. If put into practice, the decision will make Finland the only producer of uranium in the EU, but Terrafame must overcome legal hurdles before it can go ahead with the project. The country's press stresses that it's only right for such a project to be subjected to close scrutiny.
Good that Terrafame can't get started yet
Legal steps against the permit are to be welcomed, Karjalainen points out:
“Terrafame is already expecting an appeal against the decision. The local branch of the Finnish Association for Nature Conservation in Kainuu is of the opinion that the permit is not in line with the Atomic Energy Act, which requires that the environmental impact of the entire uranium production chain be assessed. It's good that in view of a potential lawsuit the permit for uranium extraction is still being examined in detail by the Supreme Administrative Court, which has made important environmental decisions in the past.”
A signal for the future
Transparency must be an even greater priority for Terrafame in the future, stresses Kainuun Sanomat:
“A potential lawsuit would delay the start, but the government's decision to approve the project is a signal that Terrafame has a long-term future. In addition to uranium, the company is interested in rare earths whose extraction the mining of uranium makes possible. ... Of course, it's important that the production, refining and use chain of Terrafame's uranium be monitored by both the authorities and the population. If the company has already had to meet exceptionally high transparency requirements in the past, uranium production will take these to a whole new level.”