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MP Damian Collins to meet Prime Minister over Dungeness nuclear station


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Dungeness power station, Dungeness
Dungeness power station, Dungeness

Dungeness power station

by Sam Lennon

MP Damian Collins is to meet David Cameron over hopes of building a third Dungeness nuclear station.

A Dungeness C station has been ruled out for more than a decade - but hopes have now been buoyed by a new government bill favouring nuclear power.

And there are also new hopes that Dungeness B could carry on producing energy for longer.

Folkestone and Hythe MP Mr Collins will discuss the idea at a meeting with the Prime Minister tomorrow.

Damian Collins
Damian Collins

Mr Collins, pictured left, said: "I will be raising this issue at a private meeting for Kent MPs with the Prime Minister at 10 Downing Street.

"I want the government to give a positive signal for Dungeness by including it on the preferred list of sites for new nuclear reactors.

"The government has also published a draft engergy bill, which paves the way for the future investment needed to build the next generation of nuclear power stations."

The draft energy bill, from energy secretary Ed Davey, outlines long-term contracts to encourage investment in nuclear and renewable energy, such as wind farms.

Mr Collins said: "This paves the way for the future investment needed to build the next generation of nuclear power stations.

"This bill has been welcomed by the energy companies that will build the new fleet of stations and I will be urging them to look seriously at Dungeness."

Short-term hopes for a Dungeness C had been dashed when both the coalition and previous Labour government had, in 2009 and last June, kept it off preferred lists of sites for new plants before 2025.

But Mr Collins said the present government has made clear the door remains open to building a new station there.

However, any company taking proposals forward would have to satsify the planning inspector that local wildlife would remain properly protected.

He said: "I believe Dungeness is an excellent site for a new station as it is located in a place of high energy demand and most of the ground where it would be built was previously disturbed during the construction of the A and B stations."

Meanwhile, Mr Collins reveals Dungeness B owners EDF Energy are in talks with the government to extend the life of that station, so it could produce electricity for at least another 10 years when it could otherwise close as soon as six years' time.

What do you think? Join the debate by adding your comments below
What do you think? Join the debate by adding your comments below

A longer life for Dungeness B would also reduce the need for a controversial planned nuclear waste site on Romney Marsh, which is going through public consultation and which Mr Collins opposes.

It is feared the combined phasing out of both stations could cost up to 1,000 jobs and supporters of the new waste and research site says that could make up for the loss.

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