Page last updated at 12:04 GMT, Sunday, 28 December 2008

Meetings to discuss nuclear plans

Exterior of Dungeness B nuclear power station
The existing Dungeness B reactor will remain open until 2018

A series of public meetings is to be held next month to discuss the possibility of building a new nuclear power station at Dungeness.

British Energy and environmental consultants Royal Haskoning will be on hand to answer questions from people living on Romney Marsh.

The site, on the Kent/Sussex border, is being considered for a new reactor.

Three others, at Sizewell, Suffolk, Bradwell, Essex and Hinkley Point, Somerset are also in the running.

"Dungeness is potentially a key site for new nuclear build in the UK and the benefits to Romney Marsh in terms of jobs and the economy are vast," said Alan Oulton, station director of Dungeness B.

"But an important part of the site assessment process is our dialogue with the community."

The meetings will update residents on the possibility of at least one new reactor of up to 1,600MW being built at Dungeness.

It would power about 2.5 million homes and employ up to 2,000 people during construction and between 300 and 400 during its 60-year life.

The Dungeness A site ceased generating power in 2006, while the nearby Dungeness B site will stay open until 2018.

The public meetings will be held from 13 January to 29 January in New Romney, Rye, Dungeness RSPB visitor centre, Dymchurch, Hythe and Lydd.

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