The owner of household energy supplier British Gas warned the budget and time-scale for the project remained unclear. It said it would return £500m of “surplus capital” to its shareholders.
The withdrawal leaves no British involvement in nuclear new build, with China’s Guangdong Nuclear Power Group understood to be leading the way to replace the UK group.
Centrica had an option to take a 20pc stake in an EDF-led project to build nuclear reactors at Hinkley Point in Somerset and Sizewell in Suffolk and since 2009 it had spent £200m developing the plans.
On Monday it ended months of speculation to announce it would proceed no further and would write off the investment.
Centrica said there remained further “uncertainty about overall project costs and the construction schedule”, despite EDF’s insistence to the contrary.