Cost of closing n-plants 'spiralling out of control'

Campaigners last night warned that the cost of decommissioning nuclear power stations was "spiralling out of control", after an official admission that an estimate of £73 billion was set to rise.

The figure, published in January, was an increase of £12 billion on the previous estimate made in 2003.

The news came as beleagured Prime Minister Gordon Brown said the UK needed to increase its nuclear power capacity - raising the prospect of plants being built in new locations.

SNP MP Mike Weir said: "The costs associated with developing new nuclear stations are mammoth, and the expense and risks associated with disposal are incalculable. There is nothing sustainable about nuclear.

"Thank goodness we have an SNP Government in Scotland that will not allow any new nuclear stations on our soil."