(Bloomberg) -- The U.K. will help fund a new nuclear power plant in a move that could unlock Electricite de France SA’s 3.2-gigawatt  Sizewell C project.

The government unveiled the 1.7 billion-pound ($2.3 billion) funding for a large-scale nuclear power plant in its autumn budget and spending review on Wednesday. While it didn’t state the money was for Sizewell C, that’s the only project of such size under active consideration. EDF declined to comment.

Nuclear power is a key part of the U.K.’s strategy to reach net-zero carbon emissions by the middle of the century. The funding comes on the heels of a bill announced on Tuesday that will help boost investment in new nuclear projects and reduce the U.K.’s reliance on foreign capital. 

“This is a big vote of confidence in nuclear and a historic step forward for nuclear investment,” said Tom Greatrex, chief executive of the Nuclear Industry Association. “This is a clear signal from government to investors that it sees nuclear as essential to our clean energy transition.”

Britain gets about 16% of its electricity from nuclear power stations and an increase in capacity would help the U.K. cope with intermittent supplies from an ever-growing fleet of wind turbines. The funding could help EDF’s Sizewell C plant in southeast England as the government had been exploring ways to remove state-owned China General Nuclear Power Corp. from the project.

The U.K. government is in active negotiations with EDF on the Sizewell project.

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