Tories back plans for new nuclear power plants in Scotland

The creation of two new nuclear power plants in Scotland has been backed by the Scottish Conservatives.

Ruth Davidson tries out an electric car to launch the Scottish Conservatives new environment policy. Picture: PA
Ruth Davidson tries out an electric car to launch the Scottish Conservatives new environment policy. Picture: PA

They would be housed on the site of the current plants at Torness in East Lothian and Hunterston in Ayrshire which are coming to the end of their lifespans.

Both have already had their operational lives extended – with the backing of the anti-nuclear SNP government – because they are seen as essential to keeping the country’s energy mix.

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Tory leader Ruth Davidson is also backing a target to ensure 50 per cent of Scotland’s energy comes from renewables by 2030 and a drive towards greater use of electric cars in proposals set out in a major new policy paper on the environment yesterday.

The plans came under fire from opposition parties who dismissed the Tories’ “green” credentials.

But Ms Davidson said: “Our approach will provide Scots with a greener and more 
pleasant land to call home. We set ourselves this task because it is one of the greatest challenges of our times.

“It is for this generation to tackle the issue and ensure the next will live in a better, more productive and sustainable world. I ask you to join us as we meet that challenge head on.”

The Tory government at Westminster has already unveiled plans to rebuild the Hinkley Point nuclear power station in Somerset, which will be led by French operator EDF, with new nuclear projects in the pipeline.

The Tory plan also backs the creation of national parks where there is public support. They also want to see 10 per cent of the Scottish Government’s capital budget spent on energy efficiency measures aimed at ensuring all homes are energy efficient by 2030.

A new target is proposed to ensure 75 per cent of all waste is recycled by 2035 through the creation of an easy-to-use collection system.

But the plans were dismissed by Greens environment spokesman Mark Ruskell.

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He said: “The Tories have no environmental credentials. Actions always speak louder than words, and the actions of their UK government have set back the creation of jobs in Scotland’s renewables industry. As they flap about, trying to shed their nasty image, ­people will recognise greenwash when they see it.”

Liberal Democrat Liam McArthur accused the Tories at Westminster of “sweeping cuts” in renewables.

“The Tories are about as eco-friendly as a dustbin fire,” Mr McArthur said.