Dungerness nuclear plant bid revived

A fight to build a third nuclear power station at Dungerness in Kent is back on following the formation of the coalition government. Dungerness already has one active and one […]

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By Kelvin Ross

A fight to build a third nuclear power station at Dungerness in Kent is back on following the formation of the coalition government.

Dungerness already has one active and one decommissioned power plant, Dungerness A and B. In April 2009, EDF Energy added Dungeness C to a list of potential new nuclear sites submitted to the government. Of the 11 locations on the list, only Dungeness was rejected, on the grounds of a potential threat to local eco-systems.

But with the coalition now committed to new nuclear stations – on the condition they do not involve any public subsidy – supporters of the new station, including the new Conservative MP for Folkestone and Hythe, Damian Collins, are now pressing for a rethink.

Mr Collins is asking for a meeting with Energy Secretary Chris Huhne to discuss the matter in the wake of the coalition’s stance on nuclear, which will see Liberal Democrat MPs abstaining from any nuclear vote, effectively allowing the Conservatives, who have backed nuclear on the proviso that any plans do not involve public subsidy, to green-light proposals.

Mr Huhne told ELN this week that if the government was presented with plans for a commercial power plant that required no public subsidy, “then it is clear that they will go ahead, because the arrangement that we have made on voting will ensure that there is a majority for that in the House of Commons”.