NuGen confirms Moorside as potential UK plant site

17 August 2018

NuGeneration (NuGen) has provided information to support the Moorside site in Cumbria being carried forward into the UK government's new national policy statement as a site for a new nuclear power plant following an assessment process.

The Moorside site in Cumbria (Image: NuGen)

NuGen - which was formed in 2010 as the UK joint venture between Japan's Toshiba and France's Engie - planned to build a nuclear power plant of up to 3.8 GWe gross capacity at the Moorside site in West Cumbria, using AP1000 nuclear reactor technology provided by Westinghouse. That reactor design completed the UK regulatory assessment process in March 2017. Toshiba owns Westinghouse, which filed for Chapter 11 protection with US courts that same month. In July last year, Toshiba became the sole owner of NuGen, after Engie exercised its right to require the Japanese conglomerate to purchase its stake. In December, Toshiba announced that Korea Electric Power Company (Kepco) had been selected as the preferred bidder for NuGen.

In October 2009, NuGen secured an option to purchase land alongside the Sellafield fuel cycle site, from the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority for a total cash consideration of GBP70 million (USD89 million). The site was officially sanctioned by the UK government as suitable for new build in a national policy statement. The site was originally some 200 hectares in area, of which the company will select the most suitable 100 hectares for the nuclear power plant. NuGen said the site "has had its boundary aligned to reflect the boundary consulted on at the second stage of public consultation, in summer 2016".

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has requested all new nuclear developers to submit information to support their proposed plant sites. This is in order that those sites listed in the current National Policy Statement for Nuclear can be carried forward into a new national policy statement. This document will define government policy for development of new sources of energy from 2026 to 2035.

NuGen announced today that it has submitted details of the Moorside site to BEIS to support its inclusion as a potential new nuclear power plant site in the new national policy statement.

"The renewal of the national policy statements is a policy process that will enable an important part of the planning process, which is necessary for new nuclear developers such as NuGen to bring forward their plans," the company said.

NuGen CEO Tom Samson said, "NuGen remains committed to delivering a nuclear power station at Moorside in Cumbria." He added, "Support for the policy process to carry forward the Moorside site is another opportunity for the community of west Cumbria to re-state its desire to host this critical national infrastructure and bring a transformational stimulus to the local economy, including jobs and prosperity for thousands of people throughout the county."

The announcement follows the recent announcement that Kepco is no longer the preferred bidder to acquire 100% of NuGen from Toshiba. However, the Japanese company said it will continue to negotiate with Kepco, along with other companies, to acquire NuGen. NuGen said it is currently conducting a "review and restructure of its future size and shape".

Researched and written by World Nuclear News