Areva ready to join Hinkley Point UK nuclear consortium: media

PARIS (Reuters) - French nuclear group Areva is ready to join the EDF-led consortium that plans to build a nuclear plant at Hinkley Point in the UK, Bloomberg reported on Wednesday, quoting people with knowledge of the matter.

Bloomberg said China General Nuclear Power Corp. would also become a shareholder and that Areva and EDF's boards would meet next week to approve the deal.

Areva and EDF declined to comment on the report.

Areva would take a stake in the project from French utility EDF, allowing EDF to share the cost of building two Areva-designed EPR reactors estimated at 14 billion pounds (16.5 billion euros).

On Sunday, British Energy Minister Ed Davey said Britain was "extremely close" to sealing a deal with EDF unit EDF Energy to build the country's first new nuclear power station since 1995, adding there would also be Chinese involvement in the talks.

The British government and EDF have long been in talks over financial terms to build a new nuclear plant at Hinkley Point in Somerset, southwest England.

The Financial Times reported on Saturday that British Finance Minister George Osborne would sign a memorandum of understanding this week to back Chinese General Nuclear Power Group (CGNPG) entering a deal with EDF for the planned Hinkley Point plant.

(Reporting by Geert De Clercq; editing by David Evans)