The chief inspector of nuclear installation has called for contractors to share information so problems with building UK power stations can be avoided.

Mike Weightman, who is also head of the Nuclear Directorate, proposed an association of approved suppliers that would work like the World Association of Nuclear Operators.

He said: “If the UK can sustain excellence in what it is doing, it could get ahead in the international market.”

Work on the construction of plants in Finland and France have encountered a number of problems with quality control.

Last week, Balfour Beatty said it would bid for work on the wave of UK power stations in partnership with French nuclear group Areva and contractor Vinci.