Finland's nuclear authority approves fuel loading of new reactor

(Corrects day to Friday)

HELSINKI (Reuters) -The Finnish Nuclear Safety Authority (STUK) on Friday approved the fuel loading permit for the Olkiluoto 3 nuclear plant, marking an important step towards commissioning of the much delayed reactor.

"This is the most significant step in the commissioning of the plant unit so far," said Jouni Silvennoinen, Project Director at operator TVO.

Olkiluoto 3, with a capacity of 1.6 gigawatt (GW), was meant to be finished in 2009 with regular electricity generation by 2010.

(Reporting by Essi Lehto; Editing by Nora Buli and Terje Solsvik)