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Sorry history of UK’s Moorside nuclear project, and why it might well be abandoned

Times 31st July 2018 Multibillion-pound plans to build a nuclear plant at Moorside in Cumbriaare likely to be abandoned within months unless a buyer is found.

The Nugen venture, owned by Toshiba, is considering plans to shut down with the loss of 100 jobs after a sale to Kepco stalled.

The decision would be a blow to government hopes for a series of new plants to help to keep the lights on
once existing reactors close. Moorside, which is next to the Sellafield
waste site, is one of five proposed plants vying to follow EDF’s Hinkley
Point project that is under construction in Somerset.

Nugen was founded in 2009. Toshiba bought into the venture in 2014 with plans to deploy reactors
made by Westinghouse Electric Company, its subsidiary. The Japanese
conglomerate was thrown into crisis last year when Westinghouse’s costs
overran on reactors in the United States. Westinghouse filed for
bankruptcy protection and was sold off, while Toshiba was forced to take
full control of Nugen when Engie, the French utility company, quit.

Nugen appeared to be saved when Toshiba announced that Kepco had been appointed
the preferred bidder to buy the venture. The South Korean state-controlled
company hoped to use its own reactors at the site.

Talks have since stalled, amid leadership changes in South Korea and uncertainty over the
financial support on offer from the British government. Ministers do not
want to repeat the funding model used for Hinkley Point, which was
criticised as too expensive. They said the government may invest directly
in the next project, Hitachi’s Wylfa plant on Anglesey, but would go back
to the drawing board for other projects. Toshiba confirmed that it had
cancelled the preferred-bidder status, meaning that it would consider other

August 1, 2018 - Posted by | business and costs, UK

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