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Last Updated: Wednesday, 13 February 2008, 10:16 GMT
Profits fall at British Energy
Hunterston power station
The UK is looking at a mix of power generation that includes nuclear
Profits have fallen 4% at nuclear power generator British Energy on higher costs, such as those related to limiting its impact on the environment.

Pre-tax profits were 599m for the nine months to the end of December, down from 622m in the same period of 2006.

Total output rose after a drop in the number of unplanned plant closures.

Looking forward, British Energy said it was considering four new designs for the next generation of nuclear power stations due to be built in the UK.

British Energy said eight sites next to its existing nuclear facilities were most likely to be considered suitable for the construction of new nuclear power stations.

The government has said nuclear power has a role to play in the UK's future energy generation. New plants are needed as the current batch are nearing the end of their operational life.

"We welcome the government's White Paper on Nuclear Power and continue to take steps to ensure that we are well positioned for a central role in the new build programme," British Energy said.

Last year, British Energy announced it was extending the life of Hinkley Point B and Hunterston B power stations by five years to 2016.

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