UPDATE 1-Fennovoima to pick nuclear site after court ruling

Wed Sep 21, 2011 6:23am EDT

* Finnish court overrules appeals over nuclear plant plan

* Fennovoima says to announce new site in few weeks

* Environmentalists to appeal to European parliament, commission (Adds background on Finnish nuclear energy policy, environmentalist comment)

HELSINKI, Sept 21 (Reuters) - Finland's supreme administrative court overruled appeals over a nuclear reactor project by Fennovoima, clearing the way for the nuclear power consortium to announce a new site.

Fennovoima, led by German utility E.ON's (EONGn.DE) Finnish subsidiary, said on Wednesday it will announce the new site in a few weeks following the court decision. The two candidate sites, Pyhajoki and Simo, are both in northern Finland.

The plan shows that Finland is staying its course in pursuing cheap electricity despite the disaster in Japan in March and Germany's decision to phase out nuclear power.

Proponents of Finland's nuclear policies say the economy cannot afford to do the same as Germany. Finland's long, cold winters mean high energy consumption, and its forest businesses and steel makers depend on cheap electricity.

The Finnish parliament voted in July 2010 to back the building of two new nuclear rectors by Fennovoima and utility Teollisuuden Voima (TVO), raising Finland's total number to seven.

Environmentalists said they would take their complaint to the European Union.

"Now that we have received these decisions, we will make a complaint to European Parliament," Simo region environmental activist Aimo Tervahauta told Reuters, adding another complaint would most likely to be made to the European Commission.

Fennovoima's shareholders include stainless steel maker Outokumpu , retailer Kesko , and the local subsidiaries of Swedish metals firm Boliden . (Reporting by Terhi Kinnunen; Editing by Hans-Juergen Peters)