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23 June 2011, 12:43
We could be getting a new nuclear power station along our coastline.
Sizewell in Suffolk has been chosen as one of 8 locations around the country, all existing nuclear sites, which have been chosen as being suitable for the building of new power plants.
This morning the government unveiled a list of suitable sites for a new generation of nuclear power plant in the UK. This marks the first major decision made on the future of nuclear power in the country since the Fukushima disaster in March this year.
Local MP Therese Coffey told Heart she's "delighted that Sizewell has been chosen as one of the sites" and that it was "good news for the local economy", though she doesn't expect any power to be generated from these new reactors for another 9 or 10 years.
When asked about safety concerns, she said: "I've been around the facility and I drive past Sizewell B every time I go home - I can see the dome - and I know that their safety procedures are second to none. So, people may be concerned, and there will always be a concern and they will always be against nuclear power but I think that most people that live in Suffolk have seen that it's been a safe power source, that it's been a good neighbour... they will welcome the economic boost and the jobs that come with the construction of a third and fourth reactor".
The other seven sites proposed are: Bradwell, Essex; Hartlepool; Heysham, Lancashire; Hinkley Point, Somerset; Oldbury, South Gloucestershire; Sellafield, Cumbria; and Wylfa, Anglesey.
The issue will be voted on and debated in parliament, though it's thought that the pro-nuclear majority in the commons will support the initiative to build more plants before 2025. The plans are part of a series of policies on energy which were published following a public consultation.
As older generations of power stations are shut down, the government hopes that these new plants will maintain electricity supplies and cut greenhouse gas emissions.
Liberal Democrat Secretary of Energy, Chris Huhne, signalled last month that plans for new reactors in the UK were on track after an initial report on Fukushima from nuclear chief inspector Mike Weightman ruled out the need to limit the operation of nuclear power stations in the UK.