The Finnish government has approved an application to build the country’s fifth nuclear power station. The matter now goes before parliament, which is expected to make a final decision in the late spring.

Power utility TVO made the first application just over a year ago. The site ha not yet been decided, but it will be at TVO’s two-unit Olkiluoto plant or at Fortum’s two-unit Loviisa plant.

Parliament rejected a similar proposal in 1993, but in the meantime the political climate has changed. Public opinion is said to be more in favour of nuclear than against it, although more than a quarter of voters are undecided according to a recent poll; and an informal survey of ministers in Finland’s five party coalition government suggested that nine out of the 18 would support the scheme.