IT'S not been officially announced yet but it's looking good for Hunterston nuclear power station to be alive and kicking into the national grid for another least.

Last week as the B Station re-opened its Visitor Centre we even had the sight of SNP Energy Minister Fergus Ewing pledging nationalist government support for the continuation of Hunterston.

It was feared that since the SNP hate all things nuclear (except NATO it seems) that the local plant which opened in 1976 would shut down in 2016. However, one can hazard a guess that the 500 plus jobs will be safeguarded until about 2023. This is also great news for the many hundreds more who earn a spin-off from EDF at Hunterston.

I liked the line from French EDF chief executive Vincent de Rivaz who said: "When we ask what planet are we going to leave our children we should also ask what kind of children are we going to leave our planet." Monsieur de Rivaz who reminded me of a Gallic Prince Charles (with his mannerisms and inflections) also pointed to a continuing future for EDF by commenting: "Many things that are right for the country start in Scotland." So, staring into my crystal ball...if Hunterston churns out nuclear energy (a gift from God) till at least 2023 and, if the SNP did not have a majority in the Scottish Parliament at that point who says that a third nuclear plant would not be possible?

One thing for sure is that if Hunterston ever closes the rise in unemployment and the slump in revenue locally will see the Largs area join the rest of North Ayrhire as Scotland's poor relation.

Vive le nuke!