The Prime Minister last night sparked a huge row over nuclear power when he suddenly announced that replacement of Britain's existing nuclear power stations was now "back on the agenda with a vengeance".
Opponents of nuclear power accused Tony Blair (pictured) of being "hell bent" on its promotion, while a Labour MP described the move as an act of "desperation".
Controversy erupted after Downing Street released extracts from a speech the Prime Minister made last night to the annual dinner in London of the CBI.
In the speech, Mr Blair will disclose the "stark" facts of the country's potential future reliance on foreign gas imports.
Mr Blair will tell the CBI dinner: "Essentially, the twin pressures of climate change and energy security are raising energy policy to the top of the agenda in the UK and around the world.
"Yesterday I received the first cut of the (energy) review. The facts are stark.
"By 2025, if current policy is unchanged there will be a dramatic gap on our targets to reduce CO2 emissions, we will become heavily dependent on gas and at the same time move from being 80-90% self-reliant in gas to 80-90% dependent on foreign imports, mostly from the Middle East, and Africa and Russia.
" These facts put the replacement of nuclear power stations, a big push on renewables and a step change on energy efficiency, engaging both business and consumers, back on the agenda with a vengeance.
"If we don't take these long-term decisions now we will be committing a serious dereliction of our duty to the future of this country."
Energy Minister Malcolm Wicks made the initial presentation of his draft energy review to Mr Blair at No 10 yesterday, including three graphs detailing the extent of the challenge facing the Government.
Green campaigners reacted with anger and dismay to Mr Blair's comments, accusing him of being "hell bent" on nuclear power.
Stephen Tindale, director of Greenpeace, said: "The Prime Minister obviously made up his mind about nuclear power some time ago, and certainly well before the Government launched its energy review.
"This is the latest act in a long running farce that is the energy review. We said at the start of the review that this would happen.
"It is tragic at a time when many groups are showing the way to a safer and cheaper energy future."
Kate Hudson, chairwoman of CND, said pressing ahead with building new nuclear power stations would be "incomprehensible".
Given the 15 years it would take a nuclear power station to come on stream, the cost of dealing with radioactive waste and the threat of terrorist attacks, it would be "irresponsible" to replace existing stations, she said.
"All the indications have been that the Prime Minister has been going along with the nuclear industry's approach to this."