NuGeneration Limited has signed has signed a cooperation agreement with the UK government to promote financing for a new nuclear power station at Moorside in West Cumbria.
NuGen and HM Treasury will work together to see how the UK Guarantee Scheme can support arrangement of external project finance for Moorside.
The Guarantee Scheme, which was introduced in 2012 to accelerate investments in major infrastructure projects, is seen as a 'key component' of any future financing structure for new low-carbon power plants, NuGen said in a statement.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, said: "We're happy to have signed this agreement with NuGen. Investment in a new generation of civil nuclear power is part of our long term economic plan to provide Britain with the energy it needs for decades to come."
"We've already done a lot to support new investment through our changes to the planning regime, the Generic Design Approval process and reforms to the electricity market. The Guarantee Scheme is another way in which we can help companies to make the huge investment that building new nuclear power involves," he added.
The news was welcomed by the UK Nuclear Industry Association. Its chief executive, Keith Parker said the annoucement was 'excellent news,' which shows there is now unstoppable momentum behind the UK's nuclear new build programme.
"The Guarantee scheme designed to accelerate private sector investment is a crucial component of this project, and further reinforces nuclear as the lead technology in the UK's low carbon energy revolution," Parker said.
NuGen, which is owned by Toshiba and GDF Suez, plans to build three Westinghouse AP1000 reactors on land to the north and west of the Sellafield complex in West Cumbria.
NuGen expects to have the full range of licences and permissions in place for the 3.4GW development, ahead of a Final Investment Decision in 2018, and the first unit is expected to be connected to the grid in 2024, with all three online by the end of 2026.