Toshiba and GDF Suez will build the largest nuclear power plant in Europe with the first reactor going online in 2024, the two companies have confirmed today.
The anticipated partnership will see Toshiba buying a 60 per cent share in the Moorside project which is set to provide almost 7 per cent of the UK’s future electricity supply, once fully operational, powering about six million UK homes..
“Moorside is the most exciting new nuclear build project in Europe, without a doubt. We will be taking forward our project in West Cumbria, the UK’s nuclear heartland – and we expect the national and regional economies to benefit extensively from the Moorside development,” said NuGen’s CEO Sandy Rupprecht.
“We will be working closely with our stakeholders, to keep them informed and included in the process, and we will be working towards building a robust business case for the project.”
The consortium will install three Westinghouse AP1000 reactors on land to the north and west of the Sellafield site in West Cumbria, with a combined output of 3.4GW.
The project will become the UK’s biggest new nuclear output from a single site and Europe’s largest new nuclear construction plan, as well as the largest-ever private investment in West Cumbria.
An additional deal has been concluded with the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) on the extension of a land option agreement for the Moorside site.
The first reactor is targeted to come online in 2024 – with full commercial operation of 3.4GW targeted to be delivered by 2026.
The fuel for the reactors will be supplied by the Springfields Fuel Fabrication facility near Preston, securing indigenous UK fuel supply.
The Moorside project supports the UK Government’s low-carbon and energy security objectives at a time when existing power plants are retiring and low-carbon generation is required to meet national and international commitments.
The Westinghouse AP1000 reactor - a pressurised water reactor - is licensed by the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Currently, eight AP1000 reactors are under construction globally. The AP1000 has completed stage 1 of the UK regulator’s Generic Design Assessment (GDA).
NuGen will be focusing on site assessments and site lay-out in 2014 and in to next year, when it will undertake its first public consultation on its plans.