The British government has approved eight sites in England and Wales as potentially suitable for new nuclear power stations and ruled out further three sites.

The new power plants are expected to be operational by 2025 and the eight sites are in the vicinity of existing nuclear power stations.

The approved sites for new nuclear reactors include: Bradwell, Essex; Hartlepool, Borough of Hartlepool; Heysham, Lancashire; Hinkley Point, Somerset; Oldbury, South Gloucestershire; Sellafield, Cumbria; Sizewell, Suffolk; and Wylfa, Isle of Anglesey.

Secretary of State for Energy Chris Huhne said that investment in new and diverse energy sources is urgently needed to power the UK.

"We’ll need renewables, new nuclear, fossil fuels with CCS, and the cables to hook them all up to the grid as a large slice of our current generating capacity shuts down. The market needs certainty to make this investment happen, and we are determined to clear every obstacle in the way of this program," Huhne said.