The UK's leading nuclear power producer, British Energy, has held talks with several leading European power companies over collaborations to build a new generation of British nuclear power plants, the Independent newspaper has reported.

According to the newspaper’s report, British Energy has engaged in talks with EDF, RWE and E.ON over the possibility of combining forces to construct new nuclear power facilities in the UK. All three major European energy outfits already operate in the UK through local subsidiaries.

The UK government is expected to shortly publish an energy white paper that will spell out a package of measures to support the creation of a new generation of nuclear power plants and a number of leading European energy companies, including the above mentioned, are believed to be interested in the opportunity.

While it is expected that Westminster will introduce incentive packages to encourage private sector involvement in the new nuclear evolution, using existing sites remain the most attractive proposition for incoming contenders as they offer the cheapest build option.

It is with this in mind that British Energy is attracting potential partners, as the UK firm currently runs eight nuclear power sites and is believed to own most of the UK’s prime locations for future nuclear power facilities.

So far talks have been described as being at a ‘preliminary’ stage.