Nuclear industry leaders are to call for a major programme of new power stations to hit ambitious emissions reduction targets.

The Nuclear Industry Association (NIA) annual conference in London will highlight the need for a "proven, dependable" source of low-carbon electricity generation alongside growth in solar and wind power.

Industry leaders will argue that without this, the country risks embedding a major reliance on carbon-emitting gas-fired power stations "for generations to come".

Three out of four of 2,000 adults surveyed to coincide with the conference said they want the UK Government to take more action to reduce CO2 emissions.

Tom Greatrex, chief executive of the NIA, said: "We have to grow the industry's contribution to a low-carbon economy.

"This is a proven, dependable technology with lower lifecycle CO2 emissions than solar power and the same as offshore wind. It is also an important economic engine for the UK, creating high quality direct and indirect employment for around 155,000 people.

"Right now nuclear provides 20% of all the UK's electricity, but all but one of our existing fleet will close over the next decade and power demand will only increase with a shift to electric heating and vehicles."