The UK government is planning to construct a new nuclear reactor in Scotland as part of its broader nuclear power strategy despite resistance from the Scottish government, the BBC has reported.

Scottish Secretary Alister Jack has informed a House of Lords committee of his request to the UK energy minister to include Scotland in the planning for new nuclear sites.

The UK’s nuclear ambitions include the development of larger-scale nuclear plants and a new generation of smaller modular reactors.

The government-backed Great British Nuclear body is leading the initiative to source up to a quarter of the UK’s electricity from nuclear power by 2050.

The Scottish government maintains an effective ban on new nuclear power stations, focusing instead on renewable energy investments.

Jack told the Lords committee: “On the small nuclear reactors, I have asked the energy minister to plan for one in Scotland.

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“I believe that in 2026 we’ll see a unionist regime again in Holyrood and they will move forward with that.”

Alister Jack expressed his desire to avoid conflict over the nuclear site proposal, citing the proximity of the general election.

First Minister John Swinney has criticised Jack for not discussing the proposals with the Scottish government and reaffirmed their stance against new nuclear power stations.

Swinney stated: “This is utterly and completely incompatible with good inter-governmental working and is illustrative of the damaging behaviour, the menacing behaviour, of the secretary of state for Scotland.”

The last nuclear plant in Scotland, located at Torness, is due to close by 2028.

While national energy policy is primarily determined by Westminster, the Scottish government can block projects using its devolved planning powers.

Jack suggested that the House of Lords should scrutinise Scottish legislation, a move that Scottish National Party MP Tommy Sheppard deemed “undermining” to Scotland’s democratic government.

The Scottish government is against building new nuclear plants in Scotland “under current technologies.”

Their spokesperson said: “Small modular reactors, while innovative in construction and size, still generate electricity using nuclear fission and therefore the process presents the same environmental concerns as traditional nuclear power plants.

“We believe that significant growth in renewables, storage, hydrogen and carbon capture provides the best pathway to net zero by 2045 and will deliver secure, affordable and clean energy supplies for Scotland.”

The UK’s Department for Energy Security and Net Zero, represented by Minister Andrew Bowie, has stated it will support applicants wishing to develop nuclear projects in Scotland.