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Copeland Mayor: Moorside will have 'lasting legacy'

An impression of what the Moorside development could look like. Credit: NuGen

The Mayor of Copeland says he has complete confidence that the Moorside nuclear project will go ahead, and leave a "lasting legacy" in west Cumbria.

Plans for a multi-billion-pound nuclear site have been thrown into doubt by the financial struggles of Toshiba, the Japanese company that owns NuGen, who are responsible for Moorside.

NuGen is now carrying out a strategic review, to determine the future of the nuclear development.

Mike Starkie said he had discussed the problems with NuGen's CEO Tom Samson today.

It is crucial to West Cumbria that this project goes ahead to ensure that we have jobs and prosperity secured for present and future generations, ensuring a lasting legacy.

We believe this is the best of UK sites for investment, and as the Centre of Nuclear Excellence, we are well rehearsed in dealing with large scale nuclear projects.

I have today (Wednesday) spoken with the CEO of NuGen, Tom Samson, and I have had a frank and honest discussion with him. I am reassured that the reasoning behind the strategic review is to ensure that the Moorside project is on the right track and the commitment to its delivery assured.

– Mike Starkie, Mayor of Copeland

Moorside: Toshiba considering 'sale of shares'

Toshiba is involved in NuGen's strategic review of Moorside. Credit: Rodrigo Reyes Marin/AFLO/Press Association Images

Japanese conglomerate Toshiba is considering selling its shares in NuGen, the company behind a proposed new nuclear power site in Cumbria.

Toshiba is set to take full ownership of NuGen, because of the withdrawal of another company, Engie.

However due to financial difficulties, the firm wants to put nuclear projects outside Japan on hold.

Following an exclusive ITV Border interview with Tom Samson, the CEO of NuGen, Toshiba has released the following statement:

Toshiba and NuGen are undertaking a strategic review of its options towards continuation of the project. We cannot comment on its details.

With regard to Toshiba’s involvement of the project, no details have been decided yet, but we would like to explore alternatives, including sales of the shares, while carefully monitoring the situation, in consultation with other stakeholders including the British government.

– Toshiba spokesperson

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Huhne: 'no subsidies for nuclear industry'

Former energy minister Chris Huhne has called on the government not to allow subsidies for the nuclear industry.

Since leaving Parliament, Huhne has forged a career as an energy expert.

He was commenting on the termination of a multi-billion-pound nuclear contract, due to a botched tendering process.

No subsidies for nuclear. That was the coalition government policy. It should be the policy again but the government seems to be relenting and saying 'no, maybe we should give a few subsidies', and it's opening the door to exactly a repetition of the sort of disaster that we see today.

It is genuinely the case that for example in Sellafield where there are a lot of research facilities, and which accounts for about 70% of the cost of total decommissioning, a lot of things were thrown away in the 1950s in the urgency to generate plutonium for the atom bomb programme, as well as generating electricity.

Those things weren't properly logged. We don't know what's in the silos, and therefore you need to have a really extensive investigative programme to find out what the problems are before you can clear them up.

And if you find out they are worse than you could conceivably have expected, that's going to cost more money, so that's basically what's been happening, and we've got this enormous increase in the cost of clear up.

– Chris Huhne, former Secretary of State for energy and climate change
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