A Kent MP has urged the government to reconsider its decision not to list Dungeness as one of eight new nuclear power stations.
Conservative MP for Folkestone and Hythe Damian Collins called a special Commons debate on Tuesday afternoon.
He said: "Jobs of thousands of people in my constituency and in East Sussex are hanging in the balance."
But Environment Minister Greg Barker said: "The government does not consider that listing Dungeness is justified."
In parliament Mr Collins questioned the environmental regulations which were preventing development on the protected shingle in Dungeness.
He said: "The government has cited overriding national interest in allowing the development at other sites to go ahead which also affect protected habitats, why not do the same at Dungeness.
"Other EU countries have allowed development within habitat areas with the same high level of European designation at Dungeness."
Speaking in the Commons debate, Mr Barker said: "The assessment has also found that it would be difficult to compensate for adverse effects such as direct habitat loss."