Ministers have backed locations on the list from those nominated by companies interested in building the new plants.
They have all previously had nuclear reactors or are close to Sellafield in Cumbria. The official list is:
Hinckley Point, Somerset
Oldbury, South Gloucestershire
Wylfa, North Wales
A month-long public consultation period is underway and the government wants the first reactors in operation by 2018.
Sites in Scotland or Northern Ireland were not included because planning is a devolved issue.