Land next to power stations up for sale

Land next to three nuclear power sites, including one in Essex, is being put up for sale, raising the prospect of new operators entering the energy market by building new stations, it has been announced.

The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority said four separate lots will be disposed of, at Wylfa in North Wales and Oldbury in Gloucestershire, next to operating Magnox stations, and at Bradwell in Essex, next to a Magnox power station currently being decommissioned.

Two plots of land are up for sale at Wylfa, including one owned by French energy giant EDF, which is set to take over nuclear power stations currently run by British Energy.

A spokesman for the Department of Energy and Climate Change said: "We've been clear that we want to see more than one new nuclear operator in the UK and this sale has the potential to make that a reality.

"The land on offer will be highly attractive to power companies interested in new build, alongside separate plans from EDF for four reactors on British Energy sites."

EDF said in a statement: "EDF supports the government's objective to have more than one participant in new nuclear build in the UK. The sites arrangements between EDF and the government announced previously are designed to facilitate the entry of other new nuclear operators in the UK.

"Today's announcement by the NDA marks the start of the disposal process for land adjacent to various nuclear sites.

"The commencement of the actual auction process is conditional upon EDF's offers for British Energy Group plc becoming unconditional in all respects. The offers are subject to final regulatory approval and sufficient British Energy shareholders accepting the offers.

"The NDA's announcement is about making timely provision for an auction process of potential new nuclear build sites as part of the preparation for new nuclear build in the UK. This will allow competitors to have early access to suitable sites and we are working with the NDA in enabling that to happen."

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