APPROVAL has been given for a £16billion nuclear reactor at Hinkley Point, Somerset just 14 miles across the Bristol Channel from Barry Island.

French energy company EDF were given the go ahead by regulators at the European Commission close to a year after the Uk Government approved plans for the UK's first new nuclear reactors to be built in 18 years.

Barry environmental groups reacted with disappointment when the initial green light was given to the project, which can be seen across the water from Barry on a clear day.

Speaking at the time Barry and Vale Friends of the Earth group co-ordinator said he was concerned about safety issues and pointed to the "tremendous residue" left for future generations by the use of nuclear power.

"We don't want to see a huge nuclear power station near Barry," he said. "

"We know that we must have clean energy and we know that nuclear energy is a clean energy source, but it also leaves a tremendous residue afterwards. We are leaving that to future generations to worry about."

Environmentalists have called for tidal lagoons in the Bristol Channel to be used as an alternative.

Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament Cymru national secretary Jill Gough, spoke on the issue saying: "Radionucleides know no boundaries. Hinkley Point is 14 miles from Barry. Any leak or accident at Hinkley would mean that thousands of families might have to flee their homes, farmland would be made worthless for generations and the Welsh economy would be in tatters."

EDF answered concerns saying that the site was protected from coastal flooding by the height of the land and is situated mainly outside designated areas of ecological importance.