Japanese giant Toshiba in talks over west Cumbria nuclear plants
Last updated at 17:15, Tuesday, 05 March 2013
One of the world’s best-known electrical manufacturers is involved in talks to build three nuclear reactors in west Cumbria.
Toshiba, best known for producing consumer electronics, is understood to have approached the Department of Energy and Climate Change regarding involvement in the NuGen consortium, a partnership between French firm GDF and Spanish giants Iberdrola.
NuGen has plans to create a new nuclear power station on a site, known as Moorside, near Sellafield.
It is understood Toshiba – which already owns Westinghouse, at the Springfields site near Preston – has also expressed interest in taking on a majority stake in the consortium should one of the existing parties drop out.
In 2011 Scottish Power withdrew from the consortium, leaving GDF and Iberdrola and last year it was reported nationally that Iberdrola was considering withdrawing fully from the partnership, though NuGen described this as ‘speculation’.
Toshiba’s interest stems from a ‘need’ to construct its AP1000 reactor in the UK.
The firm had been keen to be involved in the Hinkley development before Hitachi, which also produces nuclear reactors, became a partner in the project.
It is also believed Toshiba could be interested in building a new MOX processing facility at the site.
Industry insiders have welcomed the move. The AP1000 reactor is already in development in China and there could be potential to forge stronger links with the west Cumbrian economy.
Exploratory work at Moorside began in October and is expected to take around 12 months. A spokesman for NuGen said the company was fully committed to the project but added “we are unable to comment on speculation and rumour.”
However, sources close to the industry said there continues to be speculation regarding the progression of projects for nuclear new-builds in the UK.
First published at 17:12, Tuesday, 05 March 2013
Published by http://www.newsandstar.co.uk
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