The fate of a nuclear power station planned for the Cumbrian coast is caught in a tussle between Korean, American and Japanese investors. Toshiba, the Japanese technology giant, is preparing to retreat from its involvement in NuGen — the name of the consortium building the 3.8 gigawatt plant that is due to power 6m homes. An unravelling financial crisis at Toshiba prompted it to announce last week it would “reconsider the future of its overseas nuclear business”. Toshiba’s struggles are an unwelcome development for Whitehall, which is banking on a string of new nuclear power stations to replace Britain’s ageing coal plants. NuGen is already in crisis. Engie is also thought keen to sell up. Pressure is mounting on NuGen’s boss, Tom Samson, to sign up new investors, which could include Korea Electric Power Corporation (Kepco), Japan’s Bank for International Co-operation and the US Export- Import Bank. Britain is also likely to pump in taxpayer cash. Sources said Chinese investors were circling but were seen as a long shot. Japanese giant Hitachi is locked in talks with the government over funding its own Horizon venture to build nuclear plants in Anglesey and Gloucestershire.
Times 5th Feb 2017 read more »