British Energy could bid to take over the Three Mile Island nuclear plant in the US, which almost experienced a meltdown of one of its two reactors in 1979.
The plant is priced at about £200m and a bid is expected within the next six months.
GPU, the Pennsylvania utility which runs the remaining functioning reactor at TMI plus two more at Oyster Creek, is one of several US nuclear operations that British Energy has been looking at over the last year.
In September 1997 it formed Amergen, a joint venture with the Philadelphia-based Peco Energy, to make such aquisitions.
A deal with GPU could include one or both plants for £200m. The price representing a tiny fraction of what it cost to build the plants reflects the purchaser’s liability for completing the clean-up of the damaged TMI reactor.