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Last Updated: Thursday, 10 January 2008, 16:46 GMT
'Bitter-sweet' nuclear reaction
Chapelcross (pic by Neil Burns)
The towers at Chapelcross were brought down last year
Plans for a new generation of nuclear power stations have been given a mixed reaction in a region which saw one demolished last year.

The landmark cooling towers at Chapelcross near Annan were brought down by controlled explosion in May.

UK Business Secretary John Sutton unveiled the proposal to build new plants on Thursday.

However, with none expected in Scotland the announcement has been dubbed "bitter-sweet" by some politicians.

The Dumfriesshire plant was part of the south west Scotland skyline from 1959 until 2007.

The decision by the Westminster government means the principal block on that happening has been removed but disappointingly other barriers have been put in place
David Mundell MP

There has been a concerted local campaign to see a Chapelcross 2 built on the site.

However, the Scottish Government has said it is firmly opposed to any new plants north of the border.

Although the location of the new schemes has not been announced it is thought unlikely any will be in Scotland.

Dumfriesshire Tory MP David Mundell said that was bad news for the local economy.

"I am pleased the government has finally recognised that a mix of energy suppliers is required," he said.

The Dumfriesshire plant stood for almost 50 years

"Locally, the economy of Annandale has benefited greatly over the past 50 years thanks to the nuclear industry and I will give every support I can to campaign for a Chapelcross 2.

"The decision by the Westminster government means the principal block on that happening has been removed but disappointingly other barriers have been put in place."

Dumfries and Galloway Labour MP Russell Brown echoed that view.

"The UK Government is right to give the go-ahead to a new generation of nuclear power stations because it is the only sensible and realistic way to secure our energy supply and fight climate change," he said.

"But unfortunately this area, which through Chapelcross has played a vital role in nuclear power production in the last 50 years, will likely miss out on the economic boost new nuclear could bring."

He claimed high quality jobs and infrastructure improvements would be missed out on because of the Scottish National Party's "anti-nuclear dogma".

Nuclear mistake

However, south of Scotland SNP MSP Mike Russell said that support for nuclear power was minimal.

"We are 100% clear that there is no need for nuclear power in Scotland and the vast majority of the public don't want nuclear power," he said.

"As far as the south of Scotland is concerned, going down the nuclear road was always a mistake.

"One of the strongest arguments against it is to look at Chapelcross - there are parts of that site on which nothing can be done for almost a century and a half."

He added that there would be significant investment in alternatives to nuclear power.

Ministers hail nuclear decision
10 Jan 08 |  Scotland
New nuclear plants get go-ahead
10 Jan 08 |  UK Politics
Nuclear cooling towers demolished
20 May 07 |  South of Scotland
Demolition day looms for towers
19 May 07 |  South of Scotland
Date set for nuclear landmark end
08 May 07 |  South of Scotland
Live video for nuclear demolition
09 Mar 07 |  South of Scotland
Asbestos clean-up at nuclear site
07 Dec 06 |  South of Scotland
Review fuels new Chapelcross hope
12 Jul 06 |  South of Scotland


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