On January 17 the country's five-party coalition government voted 10-6 in favour of the scheme. Two members of the government abstained. The measure, which was proposed by power utility TVO just over a year ago, is due to go before parliament this month, with a vote expected in spring.
The site of the proposed new unit will be either at TVO's two-unit Olkiluoto plant or near Fortum's two-unit Loviisa plant.
A similar proposal by TVO and Imatran Voima, now part of Fortum, was rejected by parliament in September 1993 after nine months of debate. However, the political climate has changed over the last few years and the present initiative is likely to be passed by a comfortable majority. Public opinion in the country is also now clearly more favourable towards nuclear.