THE company that owns Didcot Power Station has rejected the idea of a nuclear plant on its site - an option suggested by a Government report.

Industrial areas in Didcot and Harwell are two possible places for the UK's next generation of nuclear power plants, according to a report published last week.

The list of potential sites for nuclear plants was researched by leading energy experts Jackson Consulting, for the Government's Department of Trade and Industry.

But energy provider RWE npower, which owns Didcot Power Station, said it had no intention of going nuclear, or selling its coal-fired Didcot 'A' station when it closes in 2015.

Last week, the energy expert behind the controversial paper named Didcot as the best place in Oxfordshire to build a nuclear plant.

Report author Ian Jackson tipped Didcot's coal-fired power station rather than the former nuclear research centre at nearby Harwell for an Oxfordshire site.

He said: "Would it surprise me if a nuclear power station was built at Didcot? No, it wouldn't.

"I think from an economic prospective it has a number of attractions. I can see the logic of building there.

"It is not impossible that the Harwell site itself could be used. If you look at the resources Oxfordshire offers, you see there is a good, experienced labour force. Harwell was one of the best nuclear research establishments in the world.

"But Didcot does look the more logical industrial choice."

The report urges the Government to use the sites of existing nuclear power for new plants - particularly Hinkley Point, Sizewell, Bradwell and Dungeness.

Didcot also emerged as a possible place, because the current power station is due to close in 2015, leaving cooling towers, a skilled labour force and high demand for energy.

The town is considered under a second tier of options, offering "key opportunities for nuclear development".

A RWE npower spokesman said: "We have no intention of developing the site for a nuclear power station. The land is privately owned by us and it is not our intention to sell it. npower do not own or operate any nuclear power stations the UK.

"There are existing nuclear plants due to close down at the same time at Didcot that are better suited to nuclear power stations."

A final decision on whether the Government will build more nuclear plants will be taken in October.

Didcot MP Ed Vaizey said: "It does not surprise me that Didcot and Harwell have been put in the frame for the next generation of nuclear power stations.

"My constituency already supplies a third of the power for the South East and drives the South East's economy.

"But this is a research exercise. It is a million miles from being a firm proposal. But, obviously, we must be prepared for any proposal in the future."

Many local people were alarmed to hear that they could have a nuclear power station on their doorstep.

Didcot Town Council leader, John Flood, said: "I find it difficult to comment on a report like this, especially when it is such a sudden nuclear bombshell. I expect supporters of this idea will be few and far between in Didcot and the surrounding area."

The Department of Trade and Industry said the report's conclusions were those of the consultants, and it was too early to consider the siting of any potential new stations.

Industry Secretary, Alistair Darling, said it would be a profound mistake to rule out turning to nuclear energy, given the pressure on dwindling North Sea oil and gas supplies.