UK nuclear project NuGen to be up and running in 2024
Toshiba will pay £102m for a 60pc stake in NuGen and build a nuclear power station that provides 7pc of the UK’s electricity needs
Britain’s nuclear project NuGen will finally be up and running in 2024, it has been announced.
Toshiba also revealed on Tuesday it will pay £102m for a 60pc stake in NuGen, which will see a new nuclear power plant built in West Cumbria, providing 7pc of the UK’s electricity needs.
The Japanese company will build three nuclear reactors for the project, codenamed Moorside, with a combined capacity of 3.4 gigawatts (GW). This is less than the maximum 3.6GW the Government had predicted could be produced.
It was revealed last month that Toshiba would take a majority stake in joint-venture NuGen, but further details emerged on Tuesday.
The group will buy Iberdrola’s entire 50pc stake for £85m and a further 10pc from French utility GDF Suez for £17m. Toshiba-owned Westinghouse will supply the reactors, while GDF will run the site.
The deal is expected to create thousands of skilled jobs in Britain over the next decade.
Jeffrey Benjamin, senior vice-president of nuclear power plants at Westinghouse, said, “This project supports the UK government’s policy for new nuclear development – the timetable to operation, financial robustness, proven technology and the project’s overall benefit to the UK economy.
“The global expertise and commitment of Toshiba, Westinghouse’s world-leading technology vendor status and GDF Suez’s pioneering expertise as a European nuclear operator are a powerful combination. We know that this plant design is the right choice for the future, the right choice for Cumbria and the UK.”
The deal is another step to helping the UK replace its ageing nuclear power stations, after fellow Japanese company Hitachi bought a nuclear new-build project in 2012.
Britain is one of a few European nations to build new nuclear plants in the wake of Japan’s 2011 Fukushima disaster as it seeks to replace its existing reactors to help cut carbon emissions in its electricity sector.
“The announcement by NuGen and Toshiba and Westinghouse shows that the UK is an attractive destination for investors in new nuclear,” Michael Fallon, Energy Minister, said.
Workers’ union GMB welcomed the announcement for offering benefits to the local community.
However, there are concerns that British taxpayers could be forced to pay billions of pounds in subsidies to energy companies to fund the construction of new power plants.
Last month the European Commission warned that the bill to consumers for EDF’s new nuclear power station at Hinkley Point in Somerset could hit £17bn, more than the £16bn cost of the plant itself.
A similar deal is expected to be negotiated for the NuGen and Hitachi projects.
Source: The Telegraph