Anti-nuclear campaigners attacked the "hazardous" decision by EDF Energy today to keep two of Britain's oldest nuclear power stations in use until at least 2023.
Hunterston B in North Ayrshire and Hinkley Point B near Bridgwater in Somerset were both given seven-year extensions to their existing 2016 decommissioning dates.
The decision means that 1,500 staff and contractors will keep their jobs at the two sites but was roundly condemned by activists.
Stop Hinkley spokesman Theo Simon said: "This decision to prop up the aging and cracked reactor at Hinkley B well past its sell-by date is potentially very hazardous for all of us.
"EDF and Centrica may want to squeeze every last drop of profit out of it, but the potential for a nuclear mishap at Hinkley B increases exponentially with age."
And Scottish Greens urged SNP ministers to stand up to EDF on the Hunterston extension.
Glasgow MSP and Scottish Green Party energy spokesman Patrick Harvie said: "Scotland doesn't need to sweat its nuclear assets to keep the lights on.
"This extension shows how light-touch regulation is failing us and the Scottish government shouldn't just wave it through.
"The Scottish Parliament has voted against new nuclear and it's clear our renewables targets are achievable.
"Why on earth would we allow EDF to increase our toxic waste legacy and continue the risks of running a plant built in the '60s?" asked Mr Harvie.
EDF's decision, which follows work with the independent nuclear regulator, coincided with reports that Chancellor George Osborne will announce plans for up to 30 gas-fired power stations in tomorrow's autumn statement.
The energy multinational has eight nuclear plants in Britain - the newest being Sizewell B, opened in 1995 - and is working on plans for a new power station at Hinkley Point.
Chief executive Vincent de Rivaz said: "This decision will provide low-carbon energy to keep the lights on in the UK and it will safeguard jobs at the plants, in the UK nuclear industry and its supply chain."
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