E.ON UK and RWE npower will now focus on securing sites being sold by the Nuclear Decommissioning Agency; taking them through the consents process to building and operating new nuclear power stations.
The companies currently have stakes in 20 nuclear power stations around the world. In addition, E.ON and RWE already jointly own three nuclear reactors in Germany.
Dr Paul Golby, chief executive of E.ON UK, said: ‘The UK has to replace a third of its generating capacity in the next 15 years in a way that ensures security of supply, reduces carbon emissions and keeps energy as affordable as possible.
‘The only way we can achieve this is to have a diverse energy mix; so new nuclear power, alongside cleaner fossil fuels, renewables and energy efficiency, will be vital going forward.’
The joint venture, which hopes to develop at least 6GW of capacity in the UK, will retain an open position on the reactor technology for individual sites it acquires.
In a separate development, E.ON has received planning consent for its Camster wind farm in Caithness, Scotland.
The proposed wind farm, located between Lybster and Watten, will bring construction contract opportunities to the Highlands region worth an estimated £13m.
The site, which has received final approval from the Highland Council after a four-year planning process, will have 25 turbines and be capable of producing up to 50MW.
Simon Eddleston, development manager for E.ON’s UK onshore wind projects, said: ‘This is a major development for us and it’s clearly a key development for the UK’s renewable targets as it will displace around 72,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide a year.’