Page last updated at 17:29 GMT, Thursday, 12 November 2009

Dungeness 'not ruled out', Brown

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

Gordon Brown has refused to rule out Dungeness as a site for a new power plant despite plans being rejected because of environmental concerns.

The government dismissed Dungeness as a location for one of 10 new nuclear power stations on Monday.

But the Prime Minster told BBC South East Today it was only an initial decision and it could play a part in the county's future nuclear plans.

He also said coal-fired plants were still part of the government's agenda.

Mr Brown said: "We only announced the first round therefore the chance of this happening here is still something that has got to be looked at for the future.

"The sources of expertise and technology in this region are very good indeed and I think for the future it's going to be very much part of our plans."

Protect jobs

He also said coal-fired power stations with carbon capture storage (CCS) technology were part of the government's plans to rely less on oil and gas in the future.

Dungeness has one active and one decommissioned power station and was rejected because of worries about the threat to the local eco-system from coastal erosion and flooding should a new plant be constructed there.

The 10 sites deemed suitable for future nuclear plants are Bradwell in Essex, Braystones, Kirksanton and Sellafield in Cumbria, Hartlepool, Heysham in Lancashire, Hinkley Point in Somerset, Oldbury in Gloucestershire, Sizewell in Suffolk and Wylfa in north Wales.

The decision is now the subject of a 15-week consultation.

Former Conservative Party leader Michael Howard, whose Folkestone and Hythe constituency includes the Romney Marsh, accused the government of letting environmental considerations outweigh the need to protect local jobs and vowed to fight the decision.

Energy firm E.On put plans to build a coal-fired power station at Kingsnorth on the Hoo peninsula on hold for three years in October because of the recession and a fall in electricity demand .

Protesters who held a Camp for Climate Change at the site last year said it showed how people could take back the power from corporations and government.

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