The UK government and its people have no desire to imitate Germany’s nuclear phase-out, despite the Fukushima incident, UK energy minister Charles Hendry told his party’s annual conference.

“There is no doubt that nuclear is the best option for mass generation of low carbon energy,” he said.

The British public is also out of step with German anti-nuclear views, he added.

“Since Fukushima, opinion polls have shown more support for nuclear in the UK than there is in even France,” he said.

But the Fukushima incident is a reminder of “why we can never be reliant on one form of energy” and the UK would act on lessons from the accident that will enhance the security of its nuclear programme, he said.

He described his goal as making Britain “a serious nuclear nation that does not compromise on safety nor rely on subsidy” and he stressed that he welcomed new reactors being built by foreign-owned companies.

“We have to make the UK a more attractive place to invest,” he said.

“We have to appeal to international boardrooms and I would rather our nuclear plants were built by people with experience rather than built by a couple of plumbers from Tonbridge Wells who had downloaded the plans off the internet.”

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