A new clean energy park could be created on the vacant Moorside site, a Copeland Council report has revealed.

Cumbria Clean Energy Park would be a “low-carbon energy hub” centred on Moorside as part of the Cumbria Nuclear Prospectus plan for the county’s nuclear future, according to a report to the council’s strategic nuclear and energy board.

A team set up under Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership’s Clean Energy Sector Panel – including representatives from the LEP, North West Nuclear Arc, Jacobs and the council – has developed the vision for the park adjacent to Sellafield.

The report, which was put together by the council’s nuclear sector development manager, Rob Ward, said the council and the team have been approached by two consortiums looking to develop new projects in the area which could form part of the park.

A new low-carbon power station around a small, light-water reactor has been proposed by the UK SMR Consortium, while the Moorside Consortium of EDF Nuclear New Build and partners has proposed building two EPR-type reactor units at Moorside; the same reactor design that is being constructed at Hinkley Point C.

The UK SMR Consortium, which is made up of Rolls-Royce, Jacobs, the National Nuclear Laboratory, Nuclear AMRC, BAM Nuttall, Assystem, Laing O’Rourke, Atkins/SNC-Lavalin and TWI, has £18million from the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund, matched by partners, and will support an initial phase of technology development this year.

Unlike the Hinkley Point C project, the Moorside Consortium development would not be led and owned by EDF and CGN would not be involved.

A finance model would need to be agreed with the Government but the report confirmed a feasibility study had already concluded the site would be suitable.

The report also said the Cumbria LEP team was working to support both consortiums with their plans and that it was expected that other “advanced nuclear technologies” proposals will be forthcoming for the site.

“Both of the proposals described in this paper could deliver the Clean Energy Park vision set out in the Cumbria Nuclear Prospectus, and both align well to the council’s agreed position statement relating to the Moorside site,” the report said.

“Officers will continue to engage with the developers to understand plans and provide support as appropriate and will keep the board appraised of progress.

“Both UK SMR and the Moorside Consortium have formally approached the council, and further engagement will be invited.”

The report will be discussed at a virtual meeting of the board next Monday at 10am.