Finnish power company Teollisuuden Voima Oy (TVO) has applied to the government for approval to construct a fifth nuclear unit. This comes as the first official figures for the estimated costs of developing the 1000-1600MW reactor are announced. The cost estimate for the unit is $1.4-2.2 billion. TVO claims that the plant will be economically viable and will not require government financial support. Given approval, construction is expected in 2003 and operation hoped for 2008. BWR and PWR designs are both being considered.
The new plant will help meet future energy demand as Finnish electricity consumption is expected to grow more than 20% in the coming 15 years and will increase from the present 80TWh to some 97TWh in 2015. “On account of low production costs and, especially, of lower fuel costs, nuclear power is very suitable for the open Nordic electricity market” says TVO’s president and CEO, Mauno Paavola.
A recent poll by Finnish MTV3 television showed that 71 members of parliament would back the plan, 65 would vote against it, 45 were unsure, while 19 did not answer the survey. The green party, a member of the five-party coalition, has questioned the project’s financing and threatened to walk out of the alliance. Finnish prime minister Paavo Lipponen has urged the green party to stick with the government if parliament accepts a motion to build a new nuclear power plant.
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