Plans to build the Moorside nuclear power plant in West Cumbria have been boosted following an agreement from The Treasury to provide financial security for private investors in the scheme, which will create 5000 construction jobs.
Government and NuGeneration (a UK nuclear company owned by Toshiba-Westinghouse and GDF SUEZ) have confirmed they will work together to agree support through the UK Guarantee scheme, encouraging quicker investment to get the project started.
Moorside will provide the biggest nuclear output from a single UK power station. Copeland Borough Council says an estimated 5000 of these new jobs will be created during construction, with an additional 600 during operation.
The project will involve building of three Westinghouse AP1000 reactors on land to the north and west of the Sellafield complex. The first reactor is expected to be connected to the grid by the end of 2024, with all three providing 3.4 GW of power by the end of 2026. This is enough to power up to six million homes.
NuGen expects to have the full range of licences and permissions in place for the development, ahead of a Final Investment Decision (FID), in 2018.
Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne said: “We’re happy to have signed this agreement with NuGen. Investment in a new generation of civil nuclear power is part of our long term economic plan to provide Britain with the energy it needs for decades to come.”
NuGen chief executive Sandy Rupprecht said: “The signing of this co-operation agreement with HM Treasury is another demonstration of NuGen’s forward momentum as we power forward with our Moorside project in West Cumbria.”
Moorside joins Hinkley Point C as part of the Government’s wider nuclear programme with plans for up to 13 new reactors on five different sites.