Public participation often ineffective in the siting of nuclear and hydro power projects in Finland

On 23 September, Hannah Strauss publicly defended her doctoral thesis. In her work at Thule Institute she looked into the siting processes for nuclear and hydro power projects in Finland from a social scientific perspective.

Hannah Strauss describes in detail the assessment and planning processes preceding the governmental decision making on a power plant application, with the main aim to critically examine opportunities for public participation. She argues that the reasons and goals of public participation are vague and thus public participation often ineffective. This is a crucial insight considering the scale of projects such as the one proposed by the company Fennovoima, which will decide on the location for a nuclear power plant close to Oulu this autumn.

Hannah Strauss has been working at the Thule Institute on a FiDiPro project Human Environment Relations in the North, funded by the Academy of Finland. The project is led by Professor Mark Nuttall (University of Alberta, Canada, and University of Oulu).

The thesis is available for download at

Last updated: 7.10.2011