The Scottish Greens have warned that reviving nuclear power as a potential solution to the ongoing energy crisis would be a “backwards step” amid speculation the UK Government is investigating ‘mini’ reactors being established.

UK ministers are believed to have turned their attention towards nuclear power as a potential answer to uncertainties over energy supplies and Boris Johnson’s commitment to become a net zero nation by 2050.

A Sunday newspaper suggested that UK business secretary, Kwasi Kwarteng is “poised” to approve Rolly-Royce being handed funding to install at least 16 ‘mini reactor’ plants – which allegedly would create 40,000 jobs by 2050.

The UK Government had previously committed to one extra nuclear plant being established, while statutory advisers, the Climate Change Committee “assumed two large-scale plants are operational by the mid-2030s" under a pathway to the UK becoming net zero by 2050.

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But the Scottish Greens, who have held a long-term opposition to nuclear power, has rejected the strategy and called for the Scottish Government to be given devolved control over energy policy.

The party’s spokesperson for the environment and climate, Mark Ruskelll, said: "Nuclear power is neither safe nor reliable. The last thing we need is a backwards step towards the nuclear industry, which would cost hundreds of millions of pounds while leaving a toxic legacy for centuries.

"The Scottish Greens in government are doubling Scotland’s onshore wind capacity and developing new opportunities for marine renewables. These are the changes that will make a vital difference.

"The truth is that the anti-climate Tories in Westminster cannot be trusted to do the right thing for the environment. That is why Scotland must have full control over our energy policy, so we can chart a different course and invest in our communities with lasting jobs and industries that have a future."

In its last energy policy, published in 2017, the Scottish Government opposed new power stations being constructed “under current technologies”.

But the document adds that SNP ministers “are aware of increasing interest in the development of new nuclear technologies, such as small modular reactors”.

It adds: “We are duty bound to assess new technologies and low carbon energy solutions, and will continue to do so based on their safety case, value for consumers, and their contribution to Scotland’s low carbon economy and energy future.”

The Scottish Government is expected to publish an updated energy strategy later this year.

A Scottish Government spokesperson added: “We believe that significant growth in renewables, storage, hydrogen and carbon capture provide the best pathway to net zero by 2045, and will deliver the decarbonisation we need to see across heat and transport energy.