Prime minister Theresa May has said the government is “committed” to the deal to construct a new nuclear power station at Moorside in West Cumbria.
May’s statement came after Japanese firm Toshiba, one of the companies involved in the project said it was reviewing its nuclear power business outside Japan. The review follows the discovery of unexpected costs relating to an acquisition made by one of its companies, Westinghouse Electric Company.
The proposed 3.8GW Moorside power station is being developed by NuGen, in which Toshiba is a 60% shareholder, with the remaining 40% owned by Engie. The nuclear reactor technology provider is Westinghouse.
There are rumours South Korean energy firm Kepco is considering investing in the project.
At prime minister’s Questions yesterday, Barrow & Furness MP John Woodcock asked: “The news revealed yesterday that Toshiba is reviewing its investment in the Moorside nuclear power plant, which puts a huge question mark over not only 21,000 jobs in Cumbria but the future of our nation’s energy security. What will the prime minister do personally to ensure that the deal stays on track?”
May replied: “Both the business secretary and I have involvement in a number of deals and possible deals around the nuclear industry. We are keen to ensure that those jobs are brought to the United Kingdom and that such deals are kept on track. I assure him of the government’s commitment.”
A statement from NuGen said: “NuGen’s shareholders, (Toshiba and Engie) are committed to the development of the Moorside Project.”
One of the associated projects with Moorside is a £2.8bn National Grid plan to connect the plant to the grid.
Amec Foster Wheeler is currently undertaking environmental impact modelling and assessment to support a development consent order and environmental permit application in 2017.
Toshiba refused to comment on the Kepco speculation.