EDF Energy

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'Energy hub' plan for Moorside is widely welcomed

Local Democracy Reporting Service

Liam Waite

Unions, businesses and politicians have welcomed major new plans for the Moorside site near Sellafield, which could create thousands of jobs.

The Moorside Clean Energy Hub project was launched at a meeting yesterday, proposing the development of two new EPR-type reactors, the same design that is being planned for the Sizewell C plant in Essex (artist's impression).

Sizewell C
EDF Energy

The hub running the project is led by the French-owned firm EDF Energy and partners including Atkins and Doosan Babcock

It hopes to attract developments for small and advanced modular reactors, like those proposed by the Rolls-Royce-led UK SMR Consortium, to be built nearby, and to link with renewables and green hydrogen projects to “create an integrated clean energy hub for the North West”.

The site has been abandoned since plans to build three reactors there were scrapped by Toshiba, so the announcement was widely greeted as good news.

When Toshiba withdrew from the Moorside site after well-publicised financial problems in 2018, this was a blow to the economic future of Cumbria – we hope the consortium, to which Unite has signed up, will kickstart a decision from Government.”

Ritchie JamesRegional secretary for Unite union

County agencies line up behind new nuclear talks

Two multinational engineering companies have now expressed interest in developing a nuclear power plant at Moorside, near Sellafield.

The site has been abandoned since since the troubled Japanese conglomerate, Toshiba, decided not to go ahead with proposals for a power station there in November 2018.

The Copeland MP Trudy Harrison now says she has been in talks with the French company EDF, which is already building a nuclear reactor in Somerset and is laying plans for another in Essex, and Rolls Royce, which is looking for a site to build a small modular reactor.

Dr rebecca Weston

Today the county's Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), the county council, Copeland borough and the Energy Coast group all welcomed the development.

Dr Rebecca Weston, chair of the LEP’s clean energy panel, said: “Cumbria is determined to put a strong case forward to ensure that we are at the forefront of both government and investors’ thinking, when they are considering new nuclear."