The Government is in danger of rushing into the construction of a new generation of nuclear power stations, MPs warned today.
On the eve of the expected publication of the Govern-ment's Energy Review, the Commons Trade and Industry Committee will accuse Ministers of failing to carry out a "full and proper assessment" of future energy needs.
The cross-party committee will urge the Government to ensure it has "broad political and public support" before going ahead with potentially far-reaching decisions.
According to reports, the review will conclude that nuclear power is now viable and should play a role in meeting Britain's energy needs alongside a five-fold expansion in "renewables" - such as solar and wind power.
It will argue that without nuclear power, Britain will become dependent on gas for 55 per cent of its energy needs by 2020 - up from 38 per cent currently - with up to 90 per cent of that imported from potentially unstable regions such as the Middle East, Central Asia and Russia.
With the impending closure of older nuclear and coal-fired power stations, 25 gigawatts of new electricity generating capacity will have to be built by 2020 - the equivalent of 30 per cent of current capacity.
Reports quoted sources as saying that the Department of Trade and Industry envisages building six nuclear power stations, each capable of generating 1.6 gigawatts of power.
However in its report, to be published in full later today, the Trade and Industry Committee will argue that the impending "energy gap" may not be as great as the Government assumes.