FACTBOX: Nuclear power plans in Europe

(Reuters) - Nuclear energy is seen by some countries as an effective way to keep up electricity supplies while cutting emissions of climate warming gases from burning fossil fuels.

Lingering concerns over nuclear safety, waste and costs have limited the sector’s growth in western Europe but several central and eastern European countries are keen to build them as a way of reducing their reliance on imported fuels.

Below are the nuclear plants being built or planned across Europe:

For a factbox on nuclear plant life extensions in Europe click here:

ALBANIA - Government said in 2008 it wanted to develop nuclear power generation and was ready to invite Italian companies to build plants.

BULGARIA - Plans to build two 1,000-megawatt Russian reactors at Belene, expected to begin operations in 2014. It faces financing and cost problems which have seen German utility RWE abandon the project and delay construction.

BRITAIN - Many of Europe’s leading utilities have bought land to build new nuclear power plants in England and Wales.

CZECH REPUBLIC - Czech utility CEZ launched tenders in August to build two reactors at its Temelin power plant.

FINLAND - Building a fifth nuclear reactor, the 1,600-megawatt Olkiluoto-3 European Pressurised Reactor (EPR), expected to come online in mid 2012 but which could be delayed further, Finnish utility TVO said in October.

FRANCE - Building a 1,600 MWe EPR at Flamanville, which is expected to begin operation in 2012. France announced plans in January 2009 to build another one at its Penly power station.

GERMANY - The new center-right government plans to extend the lives of Germany’s 17 nuclear plants but is expected to uphold an existing ban on building new nuclear power stations.

HUNGARY - Government agreed in April to allow preparations for building another unit at the Paks nuclear plant to begin. It could take over 11 years to build. [ID:nLE437132] Paks’ existing four reactors supply about a third of Hungary’s electricity.

ITALY - Italy, the only non-nuclear Group of Eight industrialised nation after deciding in 1987 to shut its reactors following the Chernobyl disaster in Ukraine, plans to rebuild the sector.

It signed a cooperation deal in September to enlist U.S. companies to build power stations across Italy, ending a 22-year ban by the Italian government.

LITHUANIA - Gets about three-quarters of its electricity from its Ignalina plant but it must shut the Soviet-era facility by the end of 2009. Poland, Latvia and Estonia have shown support for a 3,200-3,400 MW plant to replace Ignalina but it is not expected to be ready until 2018-2020.

NETHERLANDS - Dutch utility Delta plans to build a nuclear power plant in the Netherlands which could be operational by 2019. The government has agreed not to approve any new nuclear plants during its mandate, which runs until 2011, but Delta expects its proposal to be handled by the next administration.

POLAND - The government wants one or two nuclear power plants of its own to be built, the first by 2020, to break its reliance on coal for energy.

ROMANIA - Plans to build two 720 MW reactors at its existing two-reactor power station at Cernavoda by 2016.

SLOVAKIA - Two 470 MW units being built at Mochovce and expected to operate from 2011-12 in a project led by Enel unit Slovenske Elektrarne.

Czech utility CEZ and Slovak state energy company JAVYS also plan to build a nuclear plant at Jaslovske Bohunice.

SLOVENIA - State-owned energy firm Gen Energija expects to build its second nuclear power plant by 2020. The government could approve the plan next year.

SWITZERLAND - Swiss energy groups Axpo and BKW plan two nuclear power plants for commissioning after 2020 to replace two existing reactors at Beznau and Muehleberg. Rival Atel may consider one of its own.

TURKEY - Plans to have three nuclear power plants with a total capacity of 4,500 MW operating by 2012-15 but higher than expected costs could see Ankara abandon the project.

Sources: World Nuclear Association, Reuters news, International Atomic Energy Agency.

Compiled by Daniel Fineren