Fortum considers building new nuclear power in Finland and Sweden

OSLO, Oct 17 (Reuters) - Finnish utility Fortum (FORTUM.HE) said on Monday it will begin a two-year feasibility study to explore the potential for building new nuclear power stations in Finland and Sweden.

Europe is scrambling to boost its long-term energy security and bring down costs after cuts in Russian gas supplies sent electricity prices soaring this year.

"Fortum will examine commercial, technological and societal, including political, legal and regulatory, conditions both for small modular reactors (SMRs) and conventional large reactors," the company said in a statement.

Finland this year started production at Europe's first new nuclear power plant in over a decade. In neighbouring Sweden, a new government is expected to take office this week with a plan to also construct new nuclear power plants.

"The goals of energy independence, security of supply and carbon neutrality are challenges facing our entire society," Fortum Executive Vice President Simon-Erik Ollus said.

"We want to find out under which conditions we could meet them with nuclear power generation, which is known to be reliable and CO2-free," he said.

Reporting by Terje Solsvik; Editing by Kim Coghill and Edwina Gibbs

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