Eight new sites for nuclear power stations were given the green light by the coalition government yesterday, putting the UK at the forefront of nuclear power in Europe. In a remarkable U-Turn, Lib Dem energy secretary Chris Huhne said the new plants are vital. The list of potential sites for hosting new nuclear power plants had been cut to eight from 10. The government also dropped plans to install a tidal barrage across the Severn estuary. Bradwell, Essex; Hartlepool; Heysham, Lancashire; Hinkley Point, Somerset; Oldbury, South Gloucestershire; Sellafield, Cumbria; Sizewell, Suffolk; and Wylfa, Anglesey have been approved.