A government adviser has insisted that the coalition is not considering the possibility of a nuclear-free future for Britain's energy supply.
Speaking at the launch of the government's long-term nuclear strategy this week, Prof Sir John Beddington insisted that developing new nuclear projects was essential. Energy secretary Ed Davey recently gave the go-ahead for new reactors at Hinkley Point.
"We really can't see a future for the UK energy sector, if we are to meet our climate change obligations and have resilience in the power sector, without a significant component of nuclear," he explained. "A non-nuclear scenario is not one the government is thinking seriously about."
Mr Davey, meanwhile, insisted that creating new nuclear projects would provide large-scale employment opportunities and spur economic growth, as well as playing a crucial role in helping the UK meet its carbon emissions targets.
However, there remains some controversy about the 'strike price' being negotiated between the government as Hinkley Point, as it is expected to be considerably higher than the current wholesale cost for nuclear energy.