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Government Hinkley Point nuclear deal 'expensive'

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Hinkley Point nuclear power station 'approved'

Plans to build a new £16 billion nuclear power station in the UK have been given a final approval, Greenpeace has claimed.

Hinkley Point in Somerset will be the site for a new nuclear power station in the UK. Credit: PA Wire

European Commission officials are due to meet today to consider the plans for the plant at Hinkley Point in Somerset, but Greenpeace say 16 commissioners have already voted in favour.

The Government said last year that the new plant, due to be built by EDF Energy, could help reduce bills by an average of £77 a year.

But anti-nuclear campaigners expressed "extreme disappointment" at the news, with Greenpeace describing it as a "world-record sell-out" which would harm taxpayers and only benefit big energy firms.

Under the plans, the power station will begin operating in 2023.

Participants clash over possible job losses at Faslane

The debate has turned to the familiar issue of the Trident nuclear deterrent, which is based at Faslane Navy base on the Clyde.

A Royal Navy submarine, similar to the type used to carry Britain's nuclear warheads, docked at Faslane Navy base on the Clyde. Credit: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire

"Trident is probably the least efficient job creation scheme you can imagine," says Patrick Harvie. "Getting rid of Trident will not close the base, it will continue to have a non-nuclear function, but the opportunity to re-invest in the really socially useful things that we do need," he says.

Ruth Davidson replies: "Faslane is the biggest single-site employer in Scotland and if you go and speak to people in Helensburgh and surrounding areas, they don't want the [nuclear warhead bearing] submarines to go".

Campaigners clash over best way to get rid of nukes

The penultimate part of the debate is about international affairs.

Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson argues that the best way of reducing the number of nuclear weapons in the UK and around the world is to work with other countries towards this goal.

Scottish Greens co-convener Patrick Harvie says that Scotland is committing to "unilateral rearmament" and a future of "psychopathic weapons" if it remains part of the UK.

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John Kerry in Vienna for talks on Tehran nuclear deal

US Secretary of State John Kerry. Credit: Reuters

US Secretary of State John Kerry has arrived in Vienna for talks with foreign ministers about Tehran's nuclear program.

Iran and the six powers- Britain, the US, France, Germany, Russia and China- aim to reach a long-term deal to end the decade-old nuclear standoff by July 20.

Iran's leader: Western expectations 'stupid and idiotic'

Iran's Supreme Leader described Western expectations for his country to curb its missile development as "stupid and idiotic," striking a defiant tone ahead of a fresh round of nuclear talks.

Khamenei calls on Iran's Revolutionary Guards to mass produce missiles Credit: REUTERS/Caren Firouz

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei called on Iran's Revolutionary Guards to mass produce missiles and said the nuclear negotiations were not the place to discuss Tehran's defence programme.

"They expect us to limit our missile programme while they constantly threaten Iran with military action," Khamenei was quoted as telling the IRNA news agency.

Iran and the United States, France, Germany, Britain, China and Russia will reconvene in Vienna on Tuesday for a new round of nuclear talks.

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