More worries over Cumbrian nuclear new build

By Duncan Bick

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The company behind Cumbria's proposed nuclear new build is having a "review of its options", raising more fears over the project.

Artist's impressions of what the Moorside power plant might look like
Artist's impressions of what the Moorside power plant might look like

NuGen - which has plans for a power plant at Moorside, near Sellafield - has made the announcement following the news that troubled Japanese giant Toshiba is set to become its sole owner.

Toshiba already has a 60 per cent stake in NuGen.

After its American subsidiary Westinghouse filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy the other shareholder, French firm ENGIE, has used legal agreements to sell its stake to Toshiba.

The Japanese company is in serious financial difficulties after it reported a 532bn yen (£3.8bn) loss for the period of April-December last year and said it had "substantial doubt" about its ability to continue as a going concern.

A NuGen spokesman said: “NuGen is undertaking a strategic review of its options following shareholder and vendor challenges.

"NuGen is confident that the review will lead them to an outcome that provides a more robust, stable and sustainable platform to meet its commitment to deliver the next generation of nuclear baseload for the UK.

"NuGen remains a key player within the UK nuclear industry, has a vital role to play within the UK Industrial Strategy, and the Moorside Project remains a key infrastructure project focused on creating employment and economic prosperity in Cumbria and across the north.”

Korea Electric Power Corporation (Kepco) has expressed an interest in buying into NuGen and representatives from the firm have met Business Secretary Greg Clark. It is thought though that the Korean firm would want to use its own reactor design for the project - as opposed to the Westinghouse AP1000, three of which have been earmarked for Moorside - which could put the project back by several years.

Toshiba have been approached for comment.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017 at 5:17PM
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