New power plant moves a step closer
Crucial steps have been taken towards building a new nuclear power plant at Sellafield and strengthening a £2bn vision to transform west Cumbria.
The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority has announced it is marketing its sites to developers who could secure the atomic complex's future.
Agencies charged with revitalising the area's economy believe it is a major move towards attracting firms interested in creating a new station in west Cumbria - fuelled by waste already stored there.
Copeland Labour MP Jamie Reed believes Sellafield could get two reactors and a fuel manufacturing plant. The creation of a new power station forms the backbone of the Britain's Energy Coast Masterplan to use £2bn of public and private sector cash to transform the west Cumbrian economy by £800m and create 16,000 jobs.
NDA officials have started a process to gauge interest from firms interested in developing its land, including Sellafield, Calder Hall, Windscale and the low level waste repository at Drigg.
Their action comes after the Government announced in January that it would support a new generation of nuclear reactors to help power the UK.
Business Secretary and Barrow MP John Hutton has revealed interest in developing new nuclear power plants - likely to be in the vicinity of existing stations - was strong.
Reed said: "The significance of this process should not be underestimated. This is the first step towards new nuclear build at Sellafield. This is an exciting development and one which I have been working for alongside Westlakes Renaissance and the Sellafield trade unions."
The MP says the NDA's move will help it fulfil its duties under the 2004 Energy Act and maximise value for taxpayers.
Image: Sealine recovery operations at Sellafield, part of the decommissioning work relating to the old power plant