The 50:50 joint venture between E.ON UK and RWE npower will have a long-term focus on seeking to secure sites being sold by the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) and taking them through the consents process to building and operating new nuclear power stations. The joint venture will aim to develop at least 6GW of capacity in the UK.
"The UK power industry needs significant investment to replace aging coal and nuclear plant and to drive the change to a lower carbon economy," said RWE npower chief executive Andrew Duff.
"This joint venture will deliver an early, substantial and vital contribution from nuclear power. At the same time, large infrastructure projects can bring major benefits to the UK economy through jobs, direct investment and supply chain opportunities."
E.ON and RWE already jointly own three nuclear reactors in Germany, and earlier this month RWE npower secured a grid connection for a new nuclear power station on land adjacent to the existing NDA-owned Magnox plant at Wylfa on the Isle of Anglesey.
E.ON UK chief executive Dr Paul Golby 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, and new nuclear power, alongside cleaner fossil fuels, renewables and energy efficiency, will be vital going forward."