One of the new nuclear plants that Britain is relying on for energy security in coming decades has been plunged into doubt as Toshiba reviews the future of its crisis-hit nuclear power business. The UK government is bracing for the withdrawal of Toshiba from the Moorside project in Cumbria as the Japanese conglomerate faces a multibillion-dollar writedown stemming from losses in its US nuclear division. Toshiba said last week that it would “reconsider the future of the overseas nuclear business” and there is a growing acceptance within the UK government and nuclear industry that Moorside will need new backers if the project is to survive. The UK government has signalled its willingness to consider investing in nuclear power by entering talks with the Japanese government about financing for a different project led by Hitachi, another Japanese conglomerate, at Wylfa in Anglesey, according to people briefed on the discussions. Direct UK government financing would represent a big shift in policy; until recently Whitehall has balked at exposing public money to the high costs and risks involved in nuclear reactor construction. However, people involved in discussions with the government say Theresa May’s administration is more open to the idea as part of its wider ambitions to rebuild the UK nuclear supply chain and maintain energy security. This could be an opportunity for Korea Electric Power Corporation (Kepco), the South Korean energy group, to offer its APR-1400 reactor as a replacement for the AP1000 model built by Toshiba’s US nuclear unit, Westinghouse. Some people in the nuclear industry said this was the best chance of salvaging the project if Toshiba quits because South Korea was already known to be keen on entering the UK nuclear market.
FT 4th Feb 2017 read more »
The ‘biggest nuclear construction project in Europe’ next to Sellafield in Cumbria is now hanging in the balance, writes Martin Forwood. With Toshiba fast sinking due to failed nuclear projects, and other members of the Nugen consortium getting cold feet, the project is facing collapse. The only alternatives are a Korean rescue – or making British taxpayers pick up the bill upfront.
Ecologist 3rd Feb 2017 read more »
The Government is being urged to step in and guarantee funding for a new nuclear power station after Japanese giant Toshiba said it was reviewing its investment in overseas nuclear projects. The GMB union said ministers should take urgent action to secure the development at Moorside in Cumbria. The future of the planned £10 billion power plant has been thrown into doubt after Toshiba said it was reviewing its overseas nuclear business. Toshiba owns Westinghouse, the American-based nuclear developer whose AP1000 nuclear reactors are set to be used at Moorside.
ITV 3rd Feb 2017 read more »