THE Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan will not stop the progression of new nuclear power stations in the UK, including a proposed second plant at Oldbury.

An interim report into the events at the Japanese nuclear plant has made 25 recommendations that existing and future nuclear power plants need to consider, and has said stations can continue to operate.

Energy and Climate Change Secretary Chris Huhne asked for the report after the magnitude nine earthquake and subsequent tsunami in March this year that damaged the Fukushima plant and caused a radiation leak.

Mr Huhne said: "It provides us with the basis to continue to remove the barriers to nuclear new build in the UK. We want to see new nuclear as part of a low carbon energy mix going forward, provided there is no public subsidy."

The report’s recommendations, written by Dr Mike Weightman, the country’s Chief Nuclear Inspector, include a review of flooding studies, plant layouts, cooling supplies, spent fuel strategies and public contingency planning.

Phil Sprague, site manager for Magnox at the existing Oldbury plant, said Dr Weightman's report supported the safety work already being done in the nuclear industry.

He said: "It is important that we take on board any lessons we can learn from this event and this report is a valuable contribution to that process."

Leon Flexman, from Horizon, the company behind plans to build a second power plant at Shepperdine, near Oldbury, said they also welcomed the Weightman report.

He said: "We're looking at the report in detail now and we remain committed to putting safety first, and ensuring our proposal for a new nuclear power station at Oldbury reflects any lessons learned from the events in Japan and the Chief Inspector’s final report in September."

Plans on how the 25 recommendations will be addressed will be published in June and a full report from Dr Weightman is expected in September.

The Energy Secretary said the government will now bring forward the ratification of the Energy National Policy Statements (NPS). It was the draft nuclear NPS that listed Oldbury as a preferred site for a new nuclear power station. This is expected later in the year.