The government has begun talks with EDF about the construction of a new £20bn nuclear power plant in Suffolk.
The Sizewell C site could generate 3.2 gigawatts of electricity, enough to provide 7% of the UK’s energy needs but the project has proved controversial with campaigners saying it is “ridiculously expensive”.
The government said any deal would be subject to a range of approvals on areas such as value for money and affordability.
It said negotiations will be dependent on the progress of the Hinkley Point C nuclear energy plant in Somerset which France’s EDF is building in partnership with China General Nuclear Power.
The government said if the project proceeds, it could create thousands of new jobs during construction and operation.
With other nuclear projects suffering recent setbacks, and an identical plant already under construction in Somerset, Sizewell was the clear front runner to get approval.