An aerial view of the nuclear power plant in Olkiluoto, Finland. LEHTIKUVA / AFP

Finland in the world press

Finland’s new nuclear reactor: What does it mean for climate goals and energy security?

The article about Europe’s most powerful nuclear reactor, Olkiluoto 3, starting operations in Finland was covered by Euronews Green on April 17. The article sheds light on the implications of the new reactor on climate goals and energy security.

It highlights that the nuclear reactor which took 14 years longer than planned, is providing a serious boost to Finland’s electricity self-sufficiency.

The article provides details of the reactor which has 1,600 megawatt capacity and was initially connected to the Finnish national power grid in March 2022. It emphasizes that the reactor will help Finland to achieve its carbon neutrality targets as well as increase energy security at a time when European countries have cut oil and gas from Russia.

“The production of Olkiluoto 3 stabilizes the price of electricity and plays an important role in the Finnish green transition,” operator Teollisuuden Voima (TVO) president and CEO Jarmo Tanhua said in a statement.

The article also looks into the reasons behind the delay in operations of the new reactor which was plagued by several technological problems that led to lawsuits.

Olkiluoto 3 costs around 11 billion euros, almost three times what was initially estimated. With this, Finland now has five nuclear reactors in two power plants located on the shores of the Baltic Sea.

Original story was published by Euronews Green on 17.04.2023 and can be found here.

How Finland managed to virtually end homelessness

An opinion piece reflecting on Finland’s effective management of homeless people was published in Toronto Star on April 20. The article focuses on the plight of homeless people in Toronto and draws comparison with Finland on the issue.

The article argues that while Toronto is resorting to jamming more beds into already-cramped shelters, Finland has used more effective way to virtually end homelessness.

“It turns out that, given a place to live, Finland’s homeless were better able to deal with addictions and other problems, not to mention handling job applications,” the article reads. It adds that more than a decade after the launch of the “Housing First” policy, 80 percent of Finland’s homeless are doing well. Although they are still living in the housing provided to them but they are now paying the rent on their own.

The article also emphasizes that unlike European countries which still promotes social housing, Canada has almost completely exited the field which has now dropped to just 4 per cent of total households — roughly the same level as the devoutly pro-market U.S.

The author, Linda McQuaig, is a journalist, activist and a freelance contributing columnist for The Star.

Original story was published by Toronto Star on 20.04.2023 and can be found here.

How Finland can provide a model for prosperity in Glasgow

Finland’s innovations towards economic prosperity of it’s people was covered in an opinion piece by The Herald on April 16. The article draws parallel between Finland and United Kingdom and ponders how the measures taken by Helsinki to turn the entire city of into a testbed for new products and services can be implemented in Glasgow.

The article begins with mentioning Finland’s top rank in the World Happiness Report and provides reasons for this such as high level of social cohesion, Scandinavian emphasis on equity and  benefits from an excellent transport and digital infrastructure apart from economic prosperity.

It highly elaborates on Helsinki’s efforts to promote innovation through testbed projects. “Each year, the team at Testbed Helsinki facilitates about 50 projects, some of which are the result of procurement calls and others are proposed by companies, both local and international. A surprising number of these companies are based in the city’s incubator units, which provide new businesses with up to three years of accommodation and wraparound support; notably, Helsinki’s incubators are about to undergo a dramatic expansion,” the article reads.

These projects cover a wide variety of subjects including health and wellbeing, educational technology, the built environment, smart mobility and digitalization.

The author David Duncan is Chief Operating Officer and author Uzma Khan is Vice Principal for Economic Development & Innovation at the University of Glasgow.

Original story was published by The Herald on 16.04.2023 and can be found here.

Skis and service rifles: Finland ground forces prepare with Nato

Finland’s new procurement of over 8,000 pairs of ski equipment and upgrade in service rifles after joining North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) was covered in an article by Army Technology on April 18. The article provides analysis on these new developments within Finland’s ground forces.

The ski equipment will be supplied to the northern troop via the NATO Supply and Procurement Agency (NSPA). The Jaeger Brigade and Kainuu Brigade are set to receive the new ski equipment in the winter season of 2023-2024.

“The US has started shifting some equipment and battalions in the Baltics up north already, and Finland may be thinking about the permanent stationing of allied personnel and kit in the country,” James Marques, defence and aerospace analyst at GobalData told Army Technology.

The purchase amounts to nearly €3million in a package for skis and bindings, which are expected to enhance the combatants’ capacity to advance, particularly in deep snow.

Apart from this, the article also talks about Finland trailling new AR automatic rifles and personal protective equipment to update its older AK4 and AK5 service rifles. The rifles set for delivery will contribute to military readiness and with a firearm training programme of the Finnish Defence Forces, designed for training voluntary reserve members and other participants engaging in voluntary national defence training.

Original story was published by Army Technology on 18.04.2023 and can be found here.

US military equipment in transit through Estonia, bound for Finland

The story about United States Army equipment being transported through Estonia ahead of a planned exercise with Finland was published by ERR news on April 17. The article highlights that the equipment is equal to almost to an entire armored combined arms battalion with support elements.

"The rapid movement of a Combined Arms Battalion, including Abrams tanks and Bradley Fighting Vehicles, demonstrates the U.S. Government's commitment to our NATO Allies and the U.S. military's capabilities as a combat credible force,” Lt Col. Jay Ireland, commander of the U.S. Army's 1-8 Cavalry Battalion said in a press release.

1-8 Cavalry Battalion is currently based in Pabrade, Lithuania, and has its home base in Texas, according to the article. Exercise Arrow 23 will also involve 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team of the U.S. Army and equipment will be sent via Latvia and Estonia, onward by ferry through the Port of Tallinn, to Helsinki.

Original story was published by ERR news on 17.04.2023 and can be found here.

Frazer chiefs incentivized to reduce “food loss”

The article about top brass at food and drinks company Fazer Group to be incentivized to reduce “food loss” was published in Just Food on April 20. The article looks into the issue of food loss – produce that is wasted in the processing phase and not forwarded to retail or consumers to eat.

In a statement, Fazer said cutting down on food loss is “one of the most efficient ways to reduce the food system’s impact on the climate and the environment”.

Frazer aims to reduce food loss by 50% by 2030. It managed an 8% reduction in 2022 compared to its 2020 baseline. One of the main causes of waste occurs when food is considered the wrong weight or appearance to sell.

“One of the bigger causes of food loss at Fazer is products that for one reason or another, do not meet our high-quality standards. They may be the wrong weight or look wrong in some way,” Frazer spokesperson told Just Food.

Original story was published by Just Food on 20.04.2023 and can be found here.