This week, the UK government published a list of 11 potential sites for new power stations.

Most are on the sites of existing or decommissioned nuclear plants.

Five of the eleven proposed sites are on the Irish Sea coast while a further two are on the banks of the Bristol Channel.

Director of the Irish branch of Friends of the Earth, Oisin Coghlan, said the British plans were misguided and that there were other less damaging options for the country to create a clean, secure energy supply.

“Nuclear power is not the solution to our climate and energy challenge,” he said.

“It offers too little, too late, at too high a price and too high a risk. Even doubling the UK’s nuclear plant would only reduce carbon emissions by less than 10%.

“And nobody in Ireland trusts the UK government to handle the plants and the waste responsibly.”

The proposed sites are Sellafield, Kirkstanton and Braystones, all in Cumbria; Heysham in Lancashire; Wyfla Peninsula in North Wales; Oldbury and Hinkley Point on the Bristol Channel.

A poll in the Irish Times suggested public opinion was mixed on the issue, with those opposed having only a slight edge (51%) over those who were not concerned by the plans.

Sam Bond

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