Announcing the plans in Parliament, John Hutton, the Business Secretary, said that the proposals made sound commercial and environmental sense, and hoped that the first new nuclear power station would be completed well before 2020.
Talk about toxic. Nuclear power brings out the petulant in everybody. The industry fudges its figures. The green lobby stokes up safety fears. Liberal Democrats bleat that renewables should fill the energy gap, but oppose wind turbines in their own constituencies. Tories prevaricate and Gordon Brown, whose new year resolution is apparently to take “tough decisions” as long as they involve almost nothing of substance, will declare today that the British door is open to nuclear energy. In fact, the door has always been open. The only reason it was ever perceived to be closed was government's inability to guarantee a return to investors. But here the PM is indeed resolute: there will be no subsidy.
Finance, not politics, remains biggest hurdle to nuclear power
A host of issues remain before Britain greets the first batch of nuclear plants since construction started on Sizewell B in Suffolk 20 years ago.
Planning constraints, a shortage of skills and complex waste arrangements are among the main obstacles. But the biggest hurdle remains the uncertainty over whether the right financial conditions exist to encourage private investment.
Indonesia pushing for nuclear power, despite safety concerns
The Howard government made no secret of its support for nuclear power both at home and in the region.
Now, one of the country's closest neighbours, Indonesia, is ramping up its own nuclear industry.
It is hoping for Australia's continuing technical support - and its uranium. But the threat of earthquakes in Indonesia continues to prompt safety concerns.
Nuclear power around the world
A look at nuclear energy production and policies around the world, as the UK government announces its long-term nuclear energy plans.