Fri, Sep 02 07:45 AM EDT
By Ritsuko Ando and Terhi Kinnunen
HELSINKI, Sept 2 (Reuters) – While Germany is phasing out nuclear power, Finland is looking to build more, staying its course in pursuit of cheap electricity despite the Fukushima disaster in Japan.
A Finnish consortium will soon announce the location of a new reactor, underscoring the country’s determination to curb its reliance on Russian energy and help its metals and forestry sectors stay competitive.
Fennovoima, led by German utility E.ON’s (EONGn.DE) Finnish subsidiary, plans to announce the new site as soon as a court rules on land use claims. The two candidate sites, Pyhajoki and Simo, are both in northern Finland.
Finland’s parliament last year decided to allow Fennovoima and Teollisuuden Voima (TVO) to construct new nuclear reactors, which are expected to come on line by around 2020, and raise the number of reactors in Finland to seven.
Economy Affairs Minister Jyri Hakamies, who is also responsible for energy issues, said Finland launched a safety review and stress test results are due at the end of the year, but there had not been much question over whether to proceed.
“There hasn’t been a strong debate after Japan that we should change our decision,” Hakamies told Reuters. “I think Finns are very rational, pragmatic.”
Nuclear energy has not held a popular image in Europe since the 1986 Chernobyl disaster, and less so since the Fukushima disaster in March. Germany has decided to phase out nuclear power, and Italy has shelved plans to build new plants.
Continue reading at Finland to pick reactor site despite German exit
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