Plans for a new nuclear power station in Cumbria are set to move closer to collapse next week, with the company developing the Moorside project expected to confirm that it is laying off the majority of its staff.
Nugen, owned by Toshiba, the troubled Japanese conglomerate, has been consulting throughout August on job cuts among its 100 employees after failing to secure a buyer.
It is understood that it is preparing to sign off on cuts on Monday and to brief staff on Tuesday, with the most likely option resulting in the loss of at least 50 jobs.
If no buyer for Nugen is found before the end this year then the venture is likely to be abandoned altogether.
The government has said that it wants several new nuclear plants to be built to help to keep the lights on as old reactors and coal plants close. Only one, EDF’s Hinkley Point C project in Somerset, is under construction.
Nugen’s Moorside scheme, neighbouring the Sellafield atomic waste site on the Cumbrian coast, has been in doubt since early last year, when financial problems engulfed Toshiba.
A sale to Kepco, the South Korean utility, has stalled amid political change in South Korea and a British government rethink of the financial support on offer for nuclear plants,