US nuclear company Westinghouse has confirmed its parent company Toshiba has agreed to buy a 60 percent share in the NuGen Moorside project in Cumbria.
The move signals the company’s intent to move forward with the AP1000 new-build project, which could create thousands of new jobs at the site and in the centre’s UK manufacturing supply chain.
The agreement provides that three Westinghouse AP1000 nuclear reactors with a combined capacity of 3.4 GW will be built in the UK, with the first expected to be online in 2024.
“This project supports the UK government’s policy for new nuclear development – the timetable to operation, financial robustness, proven technology, and the project’s overall benefit to the UK economy,” said Jeffrey Benjamin, Westinghouse senior vice president of nuclear power plants.
When fully operational, the Moorside site is expected to deliver approximately seven percent of the electricity requirements in the U.K, a move welcomed by minister for business and energy Michael Fallon.
“The announcement by NuGen and Toshiba and Westinghouse shows that the UK is an attractive destination for investors in new nuclear,” said Mr Fallon said in a statement.
Westinghouse Springfields, a U.K.-licensed fuel manufacturing facility near Preston in Northwest England, will manufacture the fuel for the new reactors.
The facility currently manufactures fuel for the entire U.K. advanced gas-cooled reactor fleet, and pressurized water reactor fuel for export.