The Finnish parliament has approved, with a clear majority, the applications submitted by TVO and Fennovoima for the construction of two more nuclear reactors in Finland.

Fennovoima and TVO are both “very pleased” to learn about the parliament’s ratification of the “decision in principle” that the Finnish government reached in April 2010.

According to its schedule, Fennovoima will make the final site selection by the beginning of 2011. The consortium of 64 shareholders is considering two sites Pyhäjoki and Simo, both in northern Finland. Construction work will begin in 2012, subject to the receipt of a nuclear power plant construction license, and operation of the plant is expected by 2020.

TVO says it is continuing preparations for the project and feasibility studies of the plant alternatives, but it did not outline its timescale. “Now that the decision-in-principle is granted, we will continue elaborating the feasibility studies with the possible plant suppliers and various other organizations as well as proceed with other preparatory arrangements required by the large-scale project, “explains Olli-Pekka Luhta, Olkiluoto 4 project manager.

As well as being welcomed in Finland, the decision was welcomed by the European nuclear industry. Santiago San Antonio, director general of European trade organization, FORATOM said: “We applaud the decision of Finland’s parliament. If you add the two new ones in Finland to the six already under construction and those in the construction pipeline in Europe, the total number of planned new reactors in Europe is around 30. This underlines the vital security of supply, CO2 mitigation and competitiveness credentials of nuclear energy.”

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