UPDATE 2-Finland to consider reactor plans on Wednesday

* Finnish govt to examine new nuclear reactor plans on Wed

* Three companies applied for a license

* Billions of euros in investments at stake

* Paper says TVO, Fennovoima set to get approval

(Adds Finnish media report, background)

By Terhi Kinnunen

HELSINKI, April 21 (BestGrowthStock) – Finland’s government will
decide on Wednesday whether to grant permission to build more
nuclear power stations, a decision that could inject billions of
euros’ of investment in the slowly recovering Nordic country.

The government said in a statement applications will be
discussed in a session starting at 1400 GMT, and a news
conference would be held afterwards.

Prime Minister Matti Vahnanen was quoted by Finnnish News
Agency STT as saying the government would decide on the matter
on Wednesday, although it was not immediately clear if winning
bids would be announced.

Three applicants are seeking permission to build reactors —
Fortum (FUM1V.HE: ), Teollisuuden Voima (TVO) and the Fennovoima
consortium — but the government has made it clear it sees no
need for three.

Finnish Uutispaiva Demari, the paper of the main opposition
Social Democrats, reported on its website that TVO and
Fennovoima were set to get approval, but did not give a source
for the information.

All three applicants told Reuters they were still waiting to
hear the government’s decision later on Wednesday.

Reaching a unananimous decision on the multi-billion-euro
nuclear projects in the coalition government might not be easy,
because the four parties have different views on the matter.

The Greens do not want to build any new nuclear reactors,
while the Conservatives insist that all three applicants should
get the permission.

Governments around the world have embraced nuclear power as
they struggle to cut carbon emissions and ensure security of
energy supply.

Although not carbon neutral, nuclear energy results in fewer
planet-warming emissions than many alternative sources of power.

PARLIAMENTARY APPROVAL STILL NEEDED

The Finnish government said late on Tuesday it had agreed on
a package to support the growth of renewable energy, with
Vanhanen saying its scope covered the power generating
equivalent of three nuclear reactors.

Any decision on building new nuclear reactors must be
approved by parliament, which is expected to process the
parliamentary term’s most important decision for at least a few
months.

Energy companies and Finnish industry have said all three
reactors should be built to secure cheap electricity to meet
expected rising demand.

Such investment would be a shot in the arm for the
export-dependent Nordic country, which has struggled to emerge
from the recession as global markets for electronics, timber and
metals remain weak.

The reactors would also reduce Finland’s dependence on
electricity imports from its neighbours, especially Russia, and
help it meet its CO2 emission reduction goals.

TVO, whose owners include utility Pohjolan Voima, Fortum and
Finnish industrial companies like Kemira (KRA1V.HE: ), is
currently building Finland’s fifth nuclear reactor in western
coast at Olkiluoto.

The building of Olkiluoto 3 has fallen well behind its
original schedule by more than three years, with the estimated
start now expected in the second half of 2012.

TVO and French Areva (CEPFi.PA: ) have taken the dispute over
the ballooning costs to the International Chamber of Commerce.

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(Reporting by Terhi Kinnunen; Editing by Amanda Cooper)

(Additional reporting by Brett Young)

UPDATE 2-Finland to consider reactor plans on Wednesday