Iberdrola, Brit. Energy in nuclear talks -sources

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LONDON, Sept 26 (Reuters) Spanish power firm Iberdrola is in talks with British Energy over a possible partnership to build new nuclear plants in Britain, industry sources said on Wednesday.

British Energy says it is in second round talks with more than 10 different parties about building new reactors if given the go-ahead by government, but it has named none of them.

The UK government is currently consulting on whether to approve a new generation of nuclear plants, which would help it meet EU-wide goals of cutting CO2 emissions 20 percent below 1990 levels by 2020.

Reactors could be built by 2017, but workforce constraints would likely limit the first wave of construction to two units, British Energy says.

''It's Iberdrola, not its UK division Scottish Power, that's in talks with British Energy,'' said one of the two sources.

''It's really very early discussions.'' Iberdrola has been expanding rapidly over the last months and prides itself on a huge pipeline of environmentally friendly energy power production, much of it acquired when it bought Scottish Power earlier this year.

Iberdrola owns, or has a stake in, most of Spain's nine nuclear power stations but their future is in doubt as the Madrid government struggles to decide whether to allow new plants to be built when the current ones are decommissioned.

Germany's E.ON AG and RWE AG, France's EDF and Britain's Centrica Plc and Scottish and Southern Energy Plc have all previously been reported to be interested in playing a role in the UK.

Both British Energy and Iberdrola declined to comment.


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