Finnish nuclear power company Fennovoima has said that, following its evaluation of the suitability of a number of nuclear power plant site alternatives in Finland, it will continue co-operations for the potential scheme with five municipalities. According to Reuters, the power firm is hoping to build a 1,000MW to 1,800MW station.

Fennovoima said that it will continue to consider the regions of Kemijarvi, Kristinestad, Pyhajoki, Simo and Vaala for the nuclear facility’s location and added that it is also possible that its studies will result in co-operation with other municipalities. Fennovoima plans to select two to four sites for an environmental impact assessment in autumn 2007.

When the assessments are completed, Fennovoima will file an application for the decision in principle for constructing a new nuclear power plant. The site will be selected after the decision in principle has been approved by the Finnish parliament. Reuters said that the firm, which is a joint venture established by E.ON, Outokumpu and several other smaller companies, hopes to start operations at the plant in 2018.

Our endeavor to find a new site for a nuclear power plant has proceeded as planned. By the beginning of summer we had preliminarily evaluated the suitability of 30 sites. Thereafter we have continued and focused our evaluation. Now we continue our close co-operation with five municipalities. We have not ruled out the possibility that there may still be suitable sites in other municipalities, said Tapio Saarenpaa, Fennovoima’s CEO.

When conducting our site studies, we will strictly follow the rules and regulations of the Finnish Nuclear Radiation and Safety Authority (STUK) and of other authorities. Our aim is to proceed in close co-operation with municipalities, local citizens, and especially with neighbors, continued Mr Saarenpaa.