An overwhelming majority of people believe that nuclear power will have a role to play in meeting Britain's future energy needs, despite continued opposition from environmental campaigners.

The latest in a monthly series of ethical reports compiled for The Times describes a growing groundswell of support for a new generation of nuclear power plants.

Nearly two thirds of those surveyed by Populus said they believed that nuclear power will form part of an overall energy mix in the future, alongside coal, gas and “green” energy. More than one in five argued that it was the best way of tackling climate change. Only 20 per cent said that they remained opposed to the idea of nuclear power “under any circumstance”. Industry experts believe that at least two new nuclear power plants will be built in the foreseeable future as ageing facilities reach the end of their life.

This month British Energy said that it was likely to build any new facilities near its existing plants in the South of England – at Dungeness, Kent; Sizewell, Suffolk; or Hinkley Point, in Somerset. A High Court judge ordered the Government to launch a new consultation process over its nuclear power plans this year after legal opposition from Greenpeace. However, Malcolm Wicks, the Energy Minister, has confirmed the Government’s support for nuclear as a way of cutting down the amount of energy bought in from overseas.


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