UK Government needs to ‘stop faffing’ over Moorside nuclear, says union

Posted: May 16, 2017 by oldbrew in Energy, government, Nuclear power, Uncertainty
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How Moorside might look [credit:]

Moorside no more? The UK doesn’t seem to be making much, if any, progress with its plans for new nuclear power plants, as the old ones head for retirement.

The GMB union has once again demanded that the government “stop faffing” and step in to save the Moorside nuclear development from falling apart, reports Utility Week.

The union made the comments after Utility Week reported yesterday that National Grid has shelved a multi-billion project to connect the proposed plant to the transmission network.

GMB slammed the government for “continued dithering” following the latest in a series of setbacks.

The 102-mile North West Coast Connections project was slated to become “the biggest new power line since the electricity network was built” but has been placed on hold while Moorside developer NuGen undertakes a “strategic review” of the plant.

Toshiba, the main shareholder in the NuGen consortium, is reportedly considering mothballing Moorside as it faces up to huge losses stemming from its US nuclear arm Westinghouse, which it said could threaten the survival of the whole company.  

In April, Engie decided to sell its stake in NuGen, leaving Toshiba as the sole owner. The French firm made the decision after Westinghouse, which was slated to supply three of its AP1000 reactors for Moorside, filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

“How many kicks in the teeth for the desperately needed new nuclear plant at Moorside will it take to bring politicians of all colours to their senses?,” asked GMB national secretary Justin Bowden.

“Britain must have the reliable zero carbon nuclear power that Moorside will bring as part of the balanced energy mix, alongside renewables and gas.”

Full report: Utility Week – Government needs to ‘stop faffing’ over Moorside

Update: Government ‘dithering’ after plans for power line to nuclear station put on hold | Daily Express

  1. Bloke down the pub says:

    Until Brexit is completed, are the governments hands tied due to restrictions on financial support for companies?

  2. oldbrew says:

    From The Times:
    A Chinese state-owned power giant has set its sights on the £15bn nuclear plant planned for the Cumbrian coast. State Nuclear Power Technology Corporation (SNPTC) is considering investing in Toshiba’s troubled NuGen project at Moorside — risking a collision with Theresa May and her new interventionist approach to foreign takeovers. Industry sources said a delegation from SNPTC and its parent, State Power Investment Corporation, was due in London. Eight senior officials will meet executives from NuGen and Britain’s atomic power trade body, the Nuclear Industry Association, on Tuesday. It is unclear whether the election hiatus will hinder meetings with Whitehall officials.

    France: Cabinet post gives veteran opponent of nuclear power platform to push for renewables. Mr Hulot, widely known for his nature documentaries, is France’s energy minister, an eye-catching, and for the energy industry potentially disconcerting, appointment in President Emmanuel Macron’s first cabinet. In a government that is resolutely free-market and pro-globalisation, the appointment of the nuclear critic has led investors to question Mr Macron’s commitment to a source of energy that provides about 75 per cent of the country’s electricity and employs about 200,000 people.

    “While elsewhere the energy transition accelerates, EDF gets closer to Areva, overinvests in costly nuclear projects like Hinkley Point [in the UK], and does not invest enough in renewables,” he said. In another interview he said France should have a “medium-term target” of ending the use of nuclear power. [bold added]