Page last updated at 12:25 GMT, Monday, 24 May 2010 13:25 UK

Call for new nuclear plant at Dungeness renewed

Dungeness nuclear power station
Dungeness has been rejected but 10 other sites were approved

The fight to have a new nuclear power station built on the Kent/Sussex border has been renewed with an appeal to the new Energy Secretary Chris Huhne.

The new Conservative MP for Folkestone and Hythe, Damian Collins, has written to Mr Huhne asking for a meeting to discuss a new plant at Dungeness.

The site was rejected by the previous government last November.

The South East's Green MEP, Keith Taylor, said his party was opposed to any development of nuclear power.

Dungeness, on Romney Marsh, was rejected for a new nuclear power plant on environmental grounds.

The site already has one active and one decommissioned power plant.

We don't think it is part of the energy solution we all desperately need
Green MEP Keith Taylor

Shepway District Council and Kent County Council have already called for a rethink of the decision, saying a new power station would employ 400 staff and support dozens more workers.

"Some people have raised concerns over flooding risk, but that was not raised by the government last year," said Mr Collins.

"The Environment Agency believe that risk can be contained, so it is simply down to how you mitigate the loss of some of the vegetated shingle around the power station."

'Critical need'

The government last year approved 10 other sites for new nuclear power plants in England and Wales.

"One of the advantages of the Dungeness site is that the experts believe it can be brought online before 2020, which would be quite early compared to some of the other sites," said Mr Collins.

"It is also the only site south east of London in an area of critical energy need."

Mr Taylor agreed there was a need for jobs in Kent but said a new power plant at Dungeness was not the best public investment.

"The Tories and the Liberal Democrats are following the flawed and blinkered Labour approach to endorsing new-build nuclear power stations," he said.

"We believe that is dirty, dangerous and expensive.

"We don't think it is part of the energy solution we all desperately need."

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