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Over 30 parties submit proposals for UK nuclear sites

LONDON, April 14 (Reuters) - Britain’s Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) said on Monday it had received proposals from over 30 parties interested in land surrounding 18 nuclear sites -- all potential locations for new power stations.

The organisation would not reveal the identity of the bidders, although a spokesman for German utility RWE RWEG.DE said it had made a pitch for some of the land.

"We have responded to their invitation," he said. An industry source added that many of Europe's nuclear or power operators such as France's EDF EDF.PA and Germany's E.ON EONG.DE would have made a pitch.

Britain's Centrica CNA.L and Scottish & Southern Energy SSE.L are also likely to be involved, sources added, although both declined to comment.

Final proposals were due in to the NDA by April 3, and the group will now decide what commercial process is needed to take the auction forward.

“Over 30 companies have expressed an interest in our assets. We think this is a very robust number,” a spokesman said.

The NDA, an organisation set up three years ago to manage the decommissioning and clear-up of Britain’s existing nuclear power industry, said last month it was making the new sites available to prospective buyers.

The sites are greenfield land next to current nuclear locations -- all but two of which are currently being decommissioned. They could be used to build some of the fleet of new nuclear power stations given the green light by the British government in January.

The auction is happening at the same time as the 11 billion pound ($21.73 billion) bidding war for nuclear operator British Energy BGY.L, which has eight active sites, although these are seen by industry sources as more valuable than the NDA assets.

RWE is one of the front-runners in that process too, competing with French giant EDF EDF.PA. Centrica CNA.L, the owner of British Gas in the UK, is also very keen to play a part in a winning bid - either on its own or as a partner.

Both auctions are likely to play a huge role in British energy policy over the next 50 years, as the country seeks to secure its power supply while limiting carbon emissions. (Reporting by John Bowker; Editing by David Cowell)

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