The Nuclear Industry Association has praised the UK’s two largest political parties for backing nuclear power in their election manifestos.

The NIA said pledges from both the Conservative and Labour parties was recognition of nuclear’s “critical role” in fighting climate change and reaching the Net Zero 2050 target.

In its manifesto, the Tories say: “We will support gas for hydrogen production and nuclear energy, including fusion, as important parts of the energy system, alongside increasing our commitment to renewables.”

Labour has committed to kick-starting a “green industrial revolution to create one million jobs in the UK…transforming our economy into one low in carbon, rich in good jobs, radically fairer and more democratic”.

It says that “new nuclear power is needed for energy security” with the party pledging to work with the community of Anglesey to realise its potential for new nuclear, following the shelving of plans for a power station ay Wylfa Newydd, along with renewable energy developments.

The promise will be of particular interest in Cumbria following the collapse of NuGen’s plans for a £15 billion power station at Moorside in West Cumbria. Fresh plans for the site are yet to surface, although hopes are high that a large-scale development or Small Modular Reactors (SMRs) will materialise.

Last week the NIA published a “Priorities for Government” document, setting out five key steps to secure the industry’s role in cutting all CO2 emissions in just over 30 years’ time, while at the same time creating long-term jobs.

Its chief executive, Tom Greatrex, said: “There is an urgent opportunity for this Parliament to set in train the journey to net zero, as the UK embraces the environmental, economic and export opportunities of moving to a sustainable, low emissions future.

“Whichever party, or combination of parties, form the next government will have a formidable responsibility for real decarbonisation, of which nuclear will be an integral part.”

Nuclear power generates 20 per cent of the nation’s electricity and supports 65,000 jobs – with around a quarter of those based in Cumbria.

And while the county’s focus remains on decommissioning and waste management at the Sellafield site, calls have been growing for new build at Moorside, which remains a designated site for nuclear development.

Industry leaders have expressed hope that a new model for helping to finance nuclear new build will reignite interest in a large-scale power station at Moorside.

Meanwhile, Rolls Royce said the consortium it was leading to develop a first-of-a-kind SMR, was actively targeting licenced nuclear sites in Cumbria to develop them.

Moorside, Sellafield and Fellside – which are all licensed sites – have been mooted as potential locations.

Elsewhere, Labour has said it would push ahead with tidal lagoon projects should it grasp power following next month’s election.

That would mean reviving the £1.3bn Swansea Bay tidal lagoon project, which was shelved by the Conservative Government due to concerns over value for money.

Its developer Tidal Lagoon Power had previously floated plans for another project off the coast of West Cumbria but backed away following the Government’s decision.