The nuclear power industry dealt a blow to the government's hopes of seeing a new generation of plants when leaders warned that the energy review published yesterday did not go far enough or offer suitable incentives. Politicians must get away from the "froth" of words and come up with something more concrete before winning support for new stations, said the Association of Electricity Producers (AEP).

Other nuclear experts warned that Tony Blair's hopes of a nuclear future could be wrecked by skills shortages, while the energy regulator, Alistair Buchanan, said last night there could be a gas supply crunch as early as this winter. The power industry warned that it needed more clarity.

"Well-informed people seem to forget that the government does not build and run our power stations. It is our members that do that. They have to spend at least £20bn on clean, new power stations," said David Porter, chief executive of the AEP.

"It is vitally important that we move on as soon as possible from the froth of public debate to a meaningful framework for investment."

But EDF Energy, one of the UK's biggest power suppliers, which has been at the forefront of lobbying for new plants, described the review as a "major step" forward.