The Government will also publish a wider national policy statement for nuclear energy.
Publication before summer was vital to allow progress on the planned nuclear power station at Hinkley in Somerset where plans to start building are most advanced.
Developer EDF intends to submit a planning application in October, but could not do this until the Government announced the sites.
Energy Minister Charles Hendry said: “Around a quarter of the UK’s generating capacity is due to close by the end of this decade. We need to replace this with secure, low carbon, affordable energy.
“This will require over £100bn worth of investment in electricity generation alone. This means twice as much investment in energy infrastructure in this decade as was achieved in the last decade.”
Mr Hendry said industry “needs as much certainty as possible to make such big investments,” adding that the plans “set out our energy need to help guide the planning process, so that if acceptable proposals come forward in appropriate places, they will not face unnecessary hold-ups”.
The plan can now be debated and voted on by Parliament, and ministers hope that the programme gets the go-ahead within weeks.
It is understood that the Coalition will back the list of eight proposed nuclear sites, which were first drawn up by Labour.
- Bradwell, Essex
- Hartlepool, Co Durham
- Heysham, Lancashire
- Hinkley Point, Somerset
- Oldbury, south Gloucestershire
- Sellafield, Cumbria
- Sizewell, Suffolk
- Wylfa, Isle of Anglesey