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Page last updated at 16:33 GMT, Thursday, 20 May 2010 17:33 UK

Nuclear future edges closer

Deborah McGurran, Political Editor, Politics Show East
By Deborah McGurran
Political Editor
BBC East

John McNamara, Nuclear Industry Association, welcomes the coalition's energy policy whilst Janet Tait, Communities Against Nuclear Expansion and active Liberal Democrat, expresses her disappointment

Energy Secretary Chris Huhne says that Liberal Democrats will not stand in the way of privately funded nuclear plants.

The Lib Dem party had a long record of opposition to nuclear power stations until it joined the coalition.

Mr Huhne had previously described atomic power as a "failed technology" but he now backs new construction.

The move means that the prospect of new plants being built at Sizewell in Suffolk may have grown.

Sizewell B
The prospect of new plants at Sizewell may have grown

The proviso for building a new generation of nuclear power plants is that there is to be no state support.

France's EDF Energy now operates Sizewell after buying it from British Energy two years ago as part of a £12.5 million deal.

Vincent de Rivaz, Chief Executive of EDF Energy, has welcomed the news.

"We believe nuclear power is the most affordable low carbon option and can be built in the UK without subsidy.

"We plan to build two further EPRs (European Pressurised Reactor) at Sizewell in Suffolk.

"As an investor in long-term assets, we are pleased that there is broad public and political support for new nuclear power as part of the mix.

"We look forward to working with the new administration and other interested parties to make new nuclear a reality."

Work on the new reactors could get underway in the next decade.

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