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Nordic nukes

July 1, 2010

Finland's parliament has overwhelmingly approved government plans to allow a consortium of national utility groups and a German partner to construct two more nuclear power plants in the country.

Nuclear power remains a controversial issue in Europe

Finland's center-right coalition government had granted preliminary approval in April to the Finnish utilities Teolllisuuden Voima (TVO) and Fennovoima for the construction of the reactors in collaboration with the German energy company E.ON AG.

The parliamentary approval on Thursday was expected because the four government parties hold a comfortable majority in the Helsinki assembly.

The four existing reactors were constructed in the 1970s, and the fifth unit, a 1,600 megawatt third-generation reactor on TVO's site in southwestern Finland, is being built by France's Areva and Germany's Siemens in a project plagued by delays and cost over-runs.

The two new reactors are supposed to make the country self-sufficient in electric power generation by 2020.

Author: Gregg Benzow (AP/AFP)
Editor: Chuck Penfold