First out of the blocks comes Westinghouse Electric Co which has already submitted its AP1000 pressurised water reactor (PWR) for UK design acceptance to the Nuclear Directorate of the UK’s Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

Meanwhile, Electricite de France has said it is determined to be a major player in new plans for nuclear power in the UK and will, “at the right time,” submit a request for certification of an EPR design in conjunction with Areva.

British Energy welcomed the government’s “emphasis on the private sector” and its commitment to the EU Emissions Trading Scheme as the main mechanism for encouraging the deployment of low-carbon technologies in the power sector while E.ON UK has confirmed it intends to take a “leading role in the next generation of nuclear power stations.”

E.ON will be supporting Westinghouse and Areva nuclear designs through pre-licensing in the UK and is also in discussions with GE Energy over its designs, the company said in a statement.

Dr Paul Golby, chief executive of E.ON UK, commented: “We believe that private companies will be able to fully fund the next generation nuclear build but it clearly requires sustained political and public support.”

In related news the European Utility Requirements (EUR) organisation has certified the AP1000 pressurised water reactor (PWR), confirming that the AP1000 can be deployed in Europe.