Plans for a new nuclear power station in Cumbria are likely to be scrapped after a key backer pulled out, creating a major hole in the government’s nuclear strategy. Two industry sources close to the process said Toshiba had privately decided to quit the consortium behind the planned Moorside plant, echoing sources who told Reuters and the Wall Street Journal that the Japanese company was withdrawing from new nuclear projects in the UK. Toshiba said last month it was reviewing all its nuclear business abroad after suffering a multibillion-dollar writedown on its US business. It has promised to provide more details about its intentions when it publishes results on 14 February. The French energy firm Engie, which is Toshiba’s partner in the NuGen consortium, has long been seen as wanting to get out of the project. Its chief executive said last year the future did not lie in nuclear power. The company said that, along with Toshiba, it was seeking new investors to finance the Moorside plant, which are reported to include Korea Electric Power Corporation (Kepco). Unions called for the government to step in with funding to save the plant if Toshiba pulled out. “It looks increasingly like bad business investments may have busted Toshiba’s role in a new nuclear facility at Moorside in Cumbria,” said Justin Bowden, the GMB’s national secretary for energy.
Guardian 3rd Jan 2017 read more »
Toshiba Corp plans to withdraw from its lead role in projects to build nuclear plants in Britain and India, sources with direct knowledge of the matter said, marking a retreat as it wrestles with an imminent multi-billion dollar writedown. Such a move would leave Toshiba’s U.S.-based Westinghouse focused on the much narrower field of nuclear reactors and services, rather than civil engineering for nuclear power plants, or their construction, the sources said. But it would throw into question the future of a key plank in Britain’s plans to replace ageing nuclear reactors, and the future of India’s biggest nuclear project to date. NuGen, a Toshiba-led venture with French utility Engie, was set up to build three AP1000 nuclear reactors designed by the Japanese conglomerate’s Westinghouse unit at the Moorside site on the coast of Cumbria. But the $15 billion-$20 billion investment is now an impossible financial burden for Toshiba to help shoulder, one of the sources said, adding it had not yet notified the UK government. Two of the sources said Engie also wants to pull out of NuGen, as new Chief Executive Isabelle Kocher does not want to invest in new nuclear projects. Engie declined to comment. That could leave Britain searching for new backers. One of the sources said Toshiba was considering a full exit from the NuGen project, in which it currently has a 60 percent stake, but would take a firm decision once it had completed the sale of a stake in its memory chips business. That sale was announced last month but started on Friday.
Reuters 3rd Feb 2017 read more »
FEARS continue to grow over plans for Cumbria’s planned new power plant, after it was reported a key mover is “unlikely” to get involved in future building work outside Japan. New reports though – from American financial newspaper The Wall Street Journal and the Reuters news agency – have quoted unnamed executives who have said the company will abandon the nuclear industry altogether.
In Cumbria 4th Feb 2017 read more »
The future of one of Britain’s biggest nuclear power stations has been thrown into doubt after Toshiba looked set to pull the plug on the £10billion project. The Japanese giant, which has a 60 per cent stake in the planned NuGen nuclear project in Moorside, Cumbria, plans to withdraw from its lead role in the venture, according to sources. The company is embroiled in an accounting scandal that has left it wrestling with a multi-billion dollar write-down of its US-based nuclear subsidiary, Westinghouse Electric.
Daily Mail 3rd Feb 2017 read more »