THE leader of South Oxfordshire District Council has vowed to fight any move to site a nuclear power station in Didcot.

Ann Ducker's comments follow a Government-funded report suggesting it could be economic to locate a nuclear station in Didcot after the town's coal-fired power station closes in 2015.

The Conservative leader said: "We're putting a lot of money into Didcot to improve the whole area and it doesn't sit very comfortably with our aims for the town. We would fight any idea of a nuclear power station coming to Didcot.

"I see the reasons the Government paper has put forward don't seem to add up. I believe nuclear power needs a large quantity of water. We don't have enough water to supply our own normal homes and businesses."

Two Oxfordshire county councillors scoffed at the idea that Didcot could get a nuclear plant.

Terry Joslin (Lab) and Bill Service (Con), who represent Didcot wards, said they did not think it was possible that nuclear power could come to South Oxfordshire - despite the suggestions of the Government-commissioned report.

Mr Joslin, who sits on the stakeholder board of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, said: "I think it's pretty unlikely. One has to ask who wrote this report, what is their authority? I could have written that report myself.

"The Government is very serious about nuclear energy. They think it's the only answer to global warming. The renewable sources of energy are not going to supply our basic needs. But the existing nuclear power stations are the obvious sites for new ones."

Mr Service said: "It's a non-starter. My personal view is that it will never happen in Didcot.

"People are always going to protest about things like this. But nuclear power has moved on a long way over the years."

Green campaigners were quick to react against the idea of nuclear power in South Oxfordshire, preferring renewable sources of energy.

Oxford Greenpeace activist Paulo Mellett, who was arrested for demonstrating against Didcot power station last year, said: "It's going to be massively expensive and we should be spending that money on decentralised energy - turning Britain's homes and workplaces into mini-power stations with wind turbines and solar panels."

Craig Simmons, leader of the Green Party on Oxfordshire County Council, said: "This suggests that Oxfordshire is the most likely inland site for a nuclear power station. Having a nuclear power station on Oxford's doorstep highlights many issues of safety. It is an inappropriate site."

The Government is due to decide whether it will build more nuclear power stations by October.