Mr Blair recently courted controversy by preempting his own government’s energy review by suggesting nuclear power had a significant part to play in the UK’s future energy mix.

Now Mr Gorbachev, who is currently visiting Britain to discuss energy issues, has weighed into the debate by informing the UK premier in a letter that his nuclear vision is misguided.

He has told Mr Blair that nuclear power is not economically, environmentally or socially justified. Mr Gorbachev added that taking such a decision would hinder Britain’s efforts to tackle climate change.

Furthermore, the Russian suggested that the current popularity of the nuclear option was the result of short term political thinking stemming from concerns over high oil prices and fears over gas supply security.