THE way was cleared yesterday for a new nuclear power station in Cumbria.
The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) agreed to the use of land next to the Sellafield complex.
Prime Minister Gordon Brown welcomed the proposals.
The NDA, which owns Sellafield and surrounding land, expects any new station to be built by a commercial organisation.
During his trip to the Seascale site, Mr Brown told community leaders: "This is great news for Sellafield and British nuclear industries.
"We are building a new range of nuclear power stations. Sellafield has a great history and a great future."
But Cumbrians Opposed to a Radioactive Environment (CORE) said the move "condemns West Cumbria to another 50 years or more of nuclear domination, degradation, accident and terrorist action, and will do little for jobs in the long term."
Potential sites in Wylfa in Anglesey, Oldbury in Gloucestershire and Bradwell in Essex were also suggested.
It’s claimed each new station would bring up to 9,000 construction jobs, 1,000 long-term jobs when operational, and be worth about £2 billion.
Sellafield, the world’s first commercial nuclear power station, is home to Calder Hall and Windscale, which are being decommissioned.
Sellafield is also used to reprocess nuclear fuel and to store high and intermediate level radioactive waste.
Copeland MP Jamie Reed said: "The economic squeeze is apparent to everybody here and this would provide more jobs for local people."
Derek Simpson, joint leader of Unite, said: "Pushing ahead with Britain’s nuclear new build addresses the real concerns of real-life people. They want cheaper household bills.
Rosie Mathisen, nuclear opportunities director at West Lakes Renaissance, said the announcement "marks another significant step in our push to secure nuclear new build in West Cumbria and further strengthen the area’s reputation as a global leader in the nuclear industry."
But CORE spokesperson Martin Forwood said: "The announcement is a further example of how the supposedly independent NDA organisation has converted itself during its short time in West Cumbria as a lackey to the nuclear industry. We will oppose any new build project at Sellafield.".
Nathan Argent, of Greenpeace’s energy solutions unit, said: "Nuclear power is fast becoming the most expensive way to produce electricity.
"Sellafield doesn’t have the right grid connections. It would cost a fortune in subsidies to put them in, and, ultimately, it’s the taxpayer that will have to foot the bill."