Construction of the Hinkley Point C nuclear plant is in line with the government’s plans as announced by the energy secretary Chris Huhne to reform UK power market.

The government plans to issue long-term contracts to reward producers of low-carbon electricity, which includes nuclear power, reports Reuters.

The government also approved eight sites for construction of new nuclear plants, reports Reuters.

EDF’s site licence will be evaluated by the Office for Nuclear Regulation for about 18 months while the environmental permit is expected in four months.

The plant has been scheduled to commence operations in 2018 but has now been delayed owing to Japan’s nuclear disaster in March.