AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - The Netherlands is prepared to begin discussions about buying local councils' shares in the country's only operational nuclear power station, the outgoing government said on Tuesday, adding that the facility should continue operating.

In a statement, the government, acting in a caretaker role since elections in November, said local governments in the westernmost province of Zeeland, where the power station is located, hold 70% of the shares but would prefer to sell to the Dutch state.

The remaining 30% is owned by multinational German energy company RWE AG. If it opposes keeping the power station open, the Dutch government would consider buying its share as well, the government statement said.

After months of stalemate, far-right leader Geert Wilders said last month he expects a new right-wing coalition government to be in place by the end of June, but negotiations over cabinet posts are continuing.

The incoming coalition said last month it aims to expand nuclear energy production as part of plans to reduce the Netherlands' dependence on "unreliable countries". It was not clear whether it supported the idea of buying the local councils' stake in the existing nuclear plant.

(Reporting by Charlotte Van Campenhout; editing by Philippa Fletcher)