Moorside nuclear plant put ‘in doubt’

A key player in plans to build a new power plant in Cumbria has revealed that it is reviewing its involvement in the project – a move which could affect Lancashire nuclear workers.

NuGenToshiba - which has a 60 per cent stake in Moorside developer NuGen, alongside ENGIE of France – has told the News & Star newspaper in Carlisle that it is re-examining all of its nuclear projects outside Japan.

And that review includes the proposed nuclear new build at Moorside, near Sellafield.

NuGen has plans to build three Westinghouse AP1000 reactors at the Moorside site, on the West Cumbria coast – creating up to 21,000 UK jobs over the project’s lifetime.

Fuel for the AP1000 would be made at Westinghouse’s Springfields plant, near Preston, safeguarding hundreds of jobs.

The News & Star reported Toshiba president and chief executive Satoshi Tsunakawa saying: “Going forward, we will revise the positioning of the nuclear business as our main focus business in the energy sector, and review the future of nuclear businesses outside Japan.”

A spokeswoman told the paper: “At this moment, we can only say that we are reviewing [the] future of our nuclear power business outside Japan, but nothing has been decided at this time, including the impact on our Moorside nuclear project.”

A decision on whether to go ahead with Moorside is due in 2018.

Westinghouse manages its UK business from the Springfields nuclear licenced site, where over 1,000 people are directly-employed and a further 890 indirectly-employed in the UK supply chain, which benefits from over £100m per year from Westinghouse’s operations. A spokesman for NuGen said: “NuGen’s shareholders [Toshiba and Engie] are committed to the development of the Moorside project.”