A NEW nuclear power plant may be on its way to Cumbria it has been reported, as the government announces plans for ‘the biggest expansion of nuclear power for 70 years’.

The Civil Nuclear Roadmap will 'give industry certainty of the future direction of the UK’s nuclear programme', on top of the government’s Sizewell C project and its competition to develop small modular reactor (SMR) technology.

The roadmap seeks to set out how the UK will increase generation of nuclear energy by up to four times to 24 gigawatts (GW) by 2050 – enough to provide a quarter of the UK’s electricity needs.

The government says the plans will see ‘the biggest expansion of nuclear power for 70 years to reduce electricity bills, support thousands of jobs and improve UK energy security’ – including exploring building a major new power station and investing in advanced nuclear fuel production.

The BBC have reported that leading candidates would include Moorside in Cumbria or Wylfa on Anglesey.

Workington MP Mark Jenkinson hailed the new plans. He said: “The government’s civil nuclear roadmap cements Cumbria’s place at the heart of the UK’s nuclear supply chain.

"I was very disappointed to see Labour’s front bench launch an astonishing broadside at Sellafield, but I remain committed to working with Conservative colleagues and ministers to ensure that we remain at the forefront of nuclear innovation.”

However, some believe that the statement and plans don’t go far enough, saying that the government have ‘dragged their feet with new nuclear’.

Labour's Whitehaven and Workington candidate, Josh MacAlister said: “Our area has a proud history of leading the world on nuclear power.

"We need government approval for a new nuclear plant in West Cumbria so that we can unlock new advanced manufacturing and industrial jobs. That’s why I’ve been leading the New Nuclear Now campaign.

“The Tories are continuing to drag their feet on new nuclear. Their ‘road map’ is just warm words, further consultations and reheated announcements.

"Fourteen years and not one new nuclear site has opened, despite inheriting 10 approved sites from the last Labour government. Labour supports new nuclear and if you elect me as your Labour MP, I’ll be an unwavering champion for our area’s nuclear future.”