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Monday, 22 September 2014

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Progress on nuclear reactor plans hailed by Cumbrian council boss

The latest step towards a major nuclear development in Cumbria has been greeted as fantastic news for the county.

Elaine Woodburn photo
Elaine Woodburn

Related: Deal paves way for new £10bn nuclear reactors in Cumbria

There are plans for three reactors to be built at Moorside, next to Sellafield, which would bring in a £10bn investment as well as 21,000 jobs during their development.

The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority has confirmed it has concluded a £200 million deal with the site’s developer NuGen on the extension of a land option agreement for the Moorside site.

Copeland council leader Elaine Woodburn said: “It is fantastic that GDF SUEZ and Toshiba have secured the land. This is another significant step in the journey towards billions in investment and thousands of jobs, and we are delighted.

“Securing the land was an important part of ongoing work towards new energy generation here in Copeland. This was once an ambition, and it is now becoming a reality.

“We have always supported new build and we’re proud Moorside is progressing so positively.”

The land sale accompanies confirmation from NuGen that Toshiba Corporation has acquired a 60 per cent stake in NuGen and GDF SUEZ will retain its 40 per cent stake in the business.

David Southward, Cumbria County Council’s cabinet member responsible for nuclear issues, is optimistic about the west Cumbrian economy.

“This is another positive move in the development of a new generation of nuclear power production in west Cumbria,” he said. “It’s another important step in the development of this massive project which will be a linchpin of west Cumbria’s economic future.

“The scale of the contribution that Cumbria is set to make in securing a low-carbon future for the UK’s energy supply is massive. There’s a massive amount of work to do, but it is amazing to think that in 10 years’ time Moorside could be delivering power to the nation’s homes.”

Prospect, the union for specialists and professionals in the nuclear industry, also welcomed the news.

National secretary Gill Wood said: “When fully operational, the Moorside site will deliver around seven per cent of the UK’s future electricity requirements.

“It will provide new jobs and new opportunities for the nuclear industry. We look forward to working with the new consortia.”

The Moorside plant is the largest, single proposed nuclear power plant construction project in Europe. When fully operational in 2024, it will have enough capacity to deliver power to six million homes.

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