EDF is actively seeking partners to share the financial burden of building Britain’s next generation of nuclear power plants.

The move has increased concerns about the viability of the country’s nuclear strategy following the comments by Jeff Immelt, chief executive of General Electric, this week who said it had become “really hard” to justify nuclear power’s expense compared with cheap shale gas.

Nuclear power plant

The FT reports that the UK wants to replace ageing nuclear reactors but is locked in negotiations with EDF over setting a price for electricity that would justify the heavy investment.

EDF said on Tuesday it would decide this year whether to push on with the first UK facility in Somerset. But Thomas Piquemal, finance director, said it was looking at cutting its 80 per cent share of the project to spread the risk.

“We are thinking about the best ways of financing this and attracting new partners,” Mr Piquemal said.

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