Engineering group Rolls Royce has bagged a £400-million contract to provide components and expertise to Areva which will set up four nuclear reactors in the UK on behalf of EDF.
The UK firm would be one of several companies that would work on the first of two reactors built to French energy company Areva's EPR design at Hinkley Point in Somerset and finally two more reactors would be built in the UK to the same design.
The work would secure 300 skilled UK jobs at Rolls Royce, some of the based at a new manufacturing facility in Rotherham where parts for the reactors would be built. The permission for planning the facility has already been granted and it was hoped that it would be up and running late next year.
In March Rolls Royce and Areva signed a partnership agreement to work on nuclear projects, which now stands extended for cooperation on manufacturing power plant components for reactors around the world.
The French company is also expected to enter into a separate £100-million contract for preliminary work at the nuclear reactors, which would include clearing the ground and excavation.
According to David Cameron, who travelled to Paris today to meet his French counterpart Nicolas Sarkozy, the deal would see "1,500 new jobs in the UK, £100 million invested across the South West and a brand new factory in Rotherham in South Yorkshire."
The future of energy in Britain would start in Paris with David Cameron and Nicolas Sarkozy entering into formal agreements for the UK and France to work together on nuclear power. Attention would later shift to a 500-hectare (1,250-acre) plot in Somerset where work would get underway on Hinkley C and if all were to go as planned, the first nuclear power station to be built in Britain since 1995 would generate 2,000 MW of electricity a year by 2018-2019.