The UK government's whole-hearted desire to see a new generation of nuclear power plants built has taken yet another in a long list of PR blows, this time in the form of an unfavorable High Court ruling.

The British High Court has upheld a case brought against the government by Greenpeace that argued that Westminster failed to fulfill its pledge to conduct a thorough public consultation on the proposal for a new fleet of nuclear power stations.

The government had used its recent public consultation to support its contention that nuclear power was a key component of Britain’s future energy mix. However, a High Court judge has referred to the consultation process as seriously flawed.

Critics have accused the government of being fundamentally deceitful in the matter, arguing that such was prime minister Blair’s conviction to go down the nuclear path that Westminster was always going to ride roughshod over public opinion.

UK trade and industry secretary Alistair Darling denied the government consultation had been seriously flawed, saying that the ruling would be accepted and lessons learned, but he added that time was of the essence in regard to climate change and that was why nuclear power was an important consideration.