* Areva to continue talks on smaller-sized reactors
* Fennovoima to make announcement on Monday
* Source says Fennovoima to continue talks with Toshiba only
(Adds French industrial source, background)
HELSINKI/PARIS, Feb 24 French nuclear group
Areva said it expects to be dropped from talks to
supply its high-power reactor for Fennovoima as the Finnish
consortium has changed its plans following the exit of its main
The move, unconfirmed by Fennovoima, would leave Japan's
Toshiba in negotiations to supply a large reactor for
the site in Pyhajoki, in northern Finland.
A spokeswoman for Areva Finland said on Sunday Fennovoima
had started to look at other options after its biggest
shareholder, German utility E.ON, last year decided
to exit the project, estimated to cost 4 to 6 billion euros
Fennovoima's remaining owners, some 60 Finnish companies,
have said they would take on E.ON's 34 percent stake, but there
are still concerns over the project's financing and know-how.
Fennovoima, which was due to choose between Areva and
Toshiba this year, has asked Areva to hold talks on a smaller
reactor, however, the Areva Finland spokeswoman said.
"We've understood that they are continuing talks (about a
large reactor) with only one potential supplier now, but we
would continue negotiations about smaller-sized reactors," she
It was not clear what type of reactor that would be as Areva
currently only builds one model, the 1,600 megawatt European
Pressurized Reactor (EPR), one of the world's biggest reactors.
Areva does offer a smaller reactor, the 1,100 megawatt ATMEA
reactor, in a joint venture with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries
, but that model has not been sold anywhere.
A Fennovoima spokeswoman said the consortium would make an
announcement on Monday.
A French industrial source told Reuters in Paris that
Fennovoima will announce the closure of the tender process and
will start discussions with Toshiba about a high-power reactor.
The proposed Pyhajoki plant is the first reactor site to be
announced after the Fukushima disaster in Japan and is aimed at
providing cheap energy to Fennovoima consortium shareholders
including stainless steel maker Outokumpu, retailer
Kesko and units of Swedish metals firm Boliden
. Production is due to start in the 2020s.
On Saturday, Rosatom said Fennovoima had also contacted the
Russian state-owned company about supplying a reactor.
"The situation is not clear, with the exit of E.ON, the
announcement of talks with Toshiba but also with the Russians,"
a spokesman for Areva France told Reuters.
Areva, with German partner Siemens, is already
building a 1,600 megawatt nuclear reactor in Finland for another
utility group, Teollisuuden Voima (TVO), on Olkiluoto island,
some 230 km northwest of Helsinki.
The EPR that Areva is building on the Olkiluoto 3 site is
years behind schedule and billions over budget and Areva and TVO
are in dispute about who is to blame.
($1 = 0.7598 euros)
(Reporting by Jussi Rosendahl; additional reporting by Emmanuel
Jarry and Geert De Clercq; Editing by Mark Potter)