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Helsinki (AFP) April 05, 2013
Finnish power company Fennovoima said Friday it was in exclusive talks with Russia's Rosatom over building a mid-sized nuclear reactor, after dropping bids by France's Areva and other suppliers.
The winning bid for the planned reactor, which will be located in Pyhaejoki in northwest Finland, will be announced this year, Fennovoima said, adding that a design by Japan's Toshiba for a larger reactor remains the only other candidate.
"Toshiba and Rosatom are the only companies Fennovoima is now negotiating with," Chairman Pekka Ottavainen told AFP.
Fennovoima has been leaning towards a mid-sized reactor in the range from 1,000 to 1,300 megawatts after a key investor pulled out of the project last year.
The potential downsizing of the planned reactor would "ensure the realisation of the project," Fennovoima said in February.
But while the Finnish group announced Friday it was in direct negotiations with Rosatom over the mid-sized reactor, it said Toshiba's larger 1600 MW boiling water reactor remained its "other alternative" if plans for a high-power reactor went ahead.
The project is one of two new nuclear reactors approved by Helsinki lawmakers in 2010 on top of four reactors already in operation and one under construction in Finland.
Fennovoima previously turned down bids by Areva, Areva/Mitsubishi and Toshiba to supply a mid-sized reactor for the Pyhaejoki facility, as well as a bid by Areva to build a larger reactor.
Finland's fifth nuclear reactor is currently being built by Areva and Siemens, but construction has been marred by delays.
Finnish electricity company TVO said in February that the EPR reactor may not be ready until 2016, contradicting Areva's claims that it would be completed in 2014.
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