The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority has agreed commercial terms with developer NuGen to extend a land option agreement that reaffirms the consortium’s commitment to build three reactors at Moorside.
The reactors, planned to come online from 2024, should deliver 3.4GW of new nuclear capacity, enough to power up to 6 million homes.
It is estimated that the project will result in 14, 000 of jobs during the construction period for the three reactors.
NuGen is owned by Toshiba of Japan and GDF Suez of France. In October 2009 it secured an option to purchase land on the West Cumbrian Coast from the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority to build a new nuclear power station. NuGen has named its project Moorside.
NDA chief executive John Clarke said: “This is a significant step forward for the plan to establish new nuclear in West Cumbria. Together with our nuclear partners we are seeing the emergence of West Cumbria as a centre of nuclear excellence across the whole span of the industry from new build to decommissioning and waste management.”
The announcement was timed to coincide with an official visit to the UK by Japan’s prime minister Shinzo Abe.
UK prime minister David Cameron said: “Today we can announce the huge investment being made by Toshiba and Westinghouse – over £200m – into the rebuilding of the British nuclear industry, specifically in the northwest of our country, in a project that could provide as many as 14,000 jobs during the construction phase, and many thousands of jobs ongoing, as well as providing low-carbon, base load electricity for Britain. This is a symbol of the growing relationship between Britain and Japan.”