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Firms set to go nuclear after Government review

NEWS

CONTRACTORS declared themselves ready to build a new generation of nuclear power plants as the Government launched the public consultation phase of its energy review on Monday.

Recommendations arising from the review will be presented to the Prime Minister in early summer.

Terry Gilbert, Amec's nucle-ar business development director, said: 'We would very much welcome the decision to build a new generation of plants at the end of this consultation period.

'If and when Britain gets the go-ahead for this new generation of plants they will be located at Sizewell in Suffolk or at Hinkley Point in Somerset.

'We have the resources and the experience and are hoping to come in as construction and programme managers to build the new stations. It is also likely that we will team up in a joint venture par tnership.' Secretary of State for Trade and Industry Alan Johnson said: 'By 2020 coal and nuclear power plants generating about 30 per cent of today's electricity are expected to have closed. Companies will need to decide how this capacity should be replaced. These are big investment decisions so the Government needs to provide a clear framework.' Environmentalists and some power companies are backing 'greener' energy sources such as wind power.

A Scottish Power spokesman said: 'The debate should be about taking advantage of what you have. In Scotland we aim to have 40 per cent of our power coming directly from wind energy by 2020 because we have such huge potent ial.'