Government names eight new sites for nuclear power plants

The Government is to press ahead with the biggest nuclear programme for a generation, announcing yesterday eight sites where new reactors are planned. Environmentalists denounced the move, but a review of the proposals after the Fukushima disaster in Japan concluded there was no risk of a similar accident occurring in Britain.

The eight sites are: Bradwell, Essex; Hartlepool; Heysham, Lancashire; Hinkley Point, Somerset; Oldbury, South Gloucestershire; Sellafield, Cumbria; Sizewell, Suffolk; and Wylfa, Anglesey. The plans were announced by Chris Huhne, the Liberal Democrat Energy Secretary, despite his own opposition to nuclear energy. He has insisted that the new plants should not be subsidised by the taxpayer.

Ministers say the new reactors will maintain electricity supplies and cut greenhouse gas emissions as the old ones are shut down. The future of nuclear power was called into question earlier this year after the Japanese earthquake and tsunami rocked the reactors at Fukushima, causing radioactivity to leak from the plant.

Mr Huhne signalled last month that plans for new reactors were on track after an initial report on Fukushima from the nuclear chief inspector, Mike Weightman, concluded that the crisis in Japan had no implications for Britain. The plans are part of a series of national policy statements on energy published yesterday. These say billions of pounds must be invested in new energy sources, including 33 gigawatts of renewable power – equivalent to thousands of offshore wind turbines – to meet the UK's future needs.

Charles Hendry, the Energy Minister, 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 of investment in electricity generation alone, twice what was invested last decade. Industry needs as much certainty as possible to make such big investments."

But Louise Hutchins, a climate and energy campaigner for Greenpeace, said: "It's illogical, and possibly illegal, for the Government to keep pushing for a fleet of new nuclear reactors before we've even learned the lessons from the Fukushima meltdown.

"Countries around the world are dropping their nuclear programmes as costs soar. And a growing number of our European competitors have turned their backs on nuclear power after calculating that it's just not worth the risk. Naming sites won't give a solution to radioactive waste. And it won't stop nuclear power being eye-wateringly expensive."

Simon Bullock, who campaigns on energy for Friends of the Earth, said: "The Government is obsessed with putting a new nuclear millstone around Britain's neck. But nuclear is a gamble we don't need to take – we can meet our energy needs by investing in energy efficiency and developing the UK's vast potential for clean renewable power."

Nuclear power is one of the issues that divided Conservatives and Liberal Democrats when they entered Government together. The deal struck by the Coalition allowed Liberal Democrats to speak out against any new nuclear plants and the party's MPs to abstain on the issue.

However, there is a substantial majority in the Commons in favour of nuclear energy, so the plans look set to be approved.

New nuclear sites

Bradwell, Essex

Hartlepool, County Durham

Heysham, Lancashire

Hinkley Point, Somerset

Oldbury, Gloucestershire

Sellafield, Cumbria

Sizewell, Suffolk

Wylfa, Anglesey

News
The cartoon produced by Bruce MacKinnon for the Halifax Chronicle-Herald on Thursday, showing the bronze soldiers of the war memorial in Ottawa welcoming Corporal Cirillo into their midst
news
News
The Edge and his wife, Morleigh Steinberg, at the Academy Awards in 2014
peopleGuitarist faces protests over plan to build mansions in Malibu
Voices
Nigel Farage has backed DJ Mike Read's new Ukip song
voicesNigel Farage: Where is the Left’s outrage over the sexual abuse of girls in the North of England?
Life and Style
The Zinger Double Down King, which is a bun-less burger released in Korea
food + drinkKFC unveils breadless meat beast
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

SSRS Report Developer - Urgent Contract - London - £300pd

£300 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: SSRS Report Developer – 3 Mon...

KS1 Teacher

£95 - £150 per day: Randstad Education Birmingham: Key Stage 1 teacher require...

HR Business Partner - Essex - £39,000 plus benefits

£32000 - £39000 per annum + benefits + bonus: Ashdown Group: Generalist HR Man...

Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £30000 per annum + uncapped: SThree: Do you feel like your sales role...

Day In a Page

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker
Renée Zellweger's real crime has been to age in an industry that prizes women's youth over humanity

'Renée Zellweger's real crime was to age'

The actress's altered appearance raised eyebrows at Elle's Women in Hollywood awards on Monday
From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Patrick Grafton-Green wonders if they can ever recapture the old magic
Thousands of teenagers to visit battlefields of the First World War in new Government scheme

Pupils to visit First World War battlefields

A new Government scheme aims to bring the the horrors of the conflict to life over the next five years
The 10 best smartphone accessories

Make the most of your mobile: 10 best smartphone accessories

Try these add-ons for everything from secret charging to making sure you never lose your keys again
Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time against Real Madrid: Was this shirt swapping the real reason?

Liverpool v Real Madrid

Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time. Was shirt swapping the real reason?
West Indies tour of India: Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Decision to pull out of India tour leaves the WICB fighting for its existence with an off-field storm building
Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?