THE UK Government has been urged to end its “obsession” with nuclear power and focus on renewable energy.

The SNP have said it is “abundantly clear” nuclear will cost more and will send energy bills soaring even further, while people in Scotland “can see clean energy being produced in their own backyards”.

It comes as a written response to a parliamentary question confirms further delays to the UK’s Hinkley Point C nuclear power station, which reports suggest could cost the taxpayer up to £26 billion – opening four years later than scheduled.

MP Alan Brown (pictured), the party’s Shadow Minister for Energy and Climate change, said the delays added “insult to injury” for consumers, after UK Government Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng admitted recently the construction of new nuclear plants would initially raise household energy bills.

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Based on the contract awarded by the Westminster government to Hinkley Point C, the electricity that will be generated by that existing nuclear station will be priced at £92.50 per megawatt hour, for a 35-year contract, whereas the electricity being generated from offshore wind is currently priced at £39.65 per megawatt hour on a 15-year concession.

This means Hinkley Point C alone could add up to £40 a year to consumer bills, compared to wind power, which could reduce bills by £8 a year.

Brown said: “This latest admission shows the Westminster government’s obsession with nuclear power will do absolutely nothing to help people cope with the spiralling Tory-made cost of living crisis.

“For months we’ve heard endless lectures and bleatings from the Tories on their nuclear obsession, yet every week we’re treated to new reports and estimates of the true cost of prioritising a massive shift towards nuclear.

“The latest reports simply add insult to injury for the consumers whose energy bills have skyrocketed in recent months and who were promised a great reprieve when the UK shifts its reliance to nuclear.

“It’s abundantly clear that nuclear will cost more, is costing more, and will send bills soaring even further – all while many people, particularly in Scotland, can see clean renewable energy being produced in their own backyards.”

The Scottish Greens have also branded the UK Government’s drive towards nuclear as nonsensical.

The party’s climate change spokesperson, Mark Ruskell, said: “Both the Tory Government and Labour Party’s ideological obsession with nuclear power doesn’t make sense either economically or environmentally.

“Nuclear is hugely expensive and leaves a toxic waste legacy for generations. Instead of investing in toxic white elephants, investment should be focused in Scotland’s massive renewable potential.”

Lynn Jamieson, chair of the Scottish Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND), said she rejected the UK Government’s claims nuclear was good for the planet, and insisted we should be transitioning away from it.

She said: “The UK Government’s claims that nuclear is good for the environment ignores the harms of uranium mining, the radioactive waste, the risks of cancers and catastrophic accident – irrationally favouring nuclear industries over cheaper, safer and more quickly available renewables.

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“This reflects their commitment to nuclear weapons over a nuclear free world.

“The nuclear industries are mutually supporting, requiring a critical mass of trained nuclear scientists with career prospects – hence, just as they back nuclear weapons, the UK government back nuclear power.

“More than ever, it is time to build a safer world by transitioning away from nuclear by joining the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW).

“The Scottish CND are grateful that our Scottish Government support a non-nuclear direction of travel and are committed to an independent Scotland signing the TPNW.”