Uncertainty over Toshiba nuclear investment at Moorside

Proposed new development at Moorside Credit: NuGen

Union leaders have demanded clarity over the future of a planned new nuclear power station in the UK after Japanese giant Toshiba asked for a delay in releasing its accounts amid a shares plunge.

The company was expected to announce huge losses and that it was pulling out of nuclear projects outside Japan. That fuelled fears over the future of a new plant at Moorside in Cumbria, which Toshiba has a 60% stake in building.

Toshiba owns Westinghouse, the US-based nuclear developer whose AP1000 nuclear reactors are to be used at a planned £10 billion power plant at Moorside in Cumbria.

It also has a 60% stake in Nugen, the company which plans to build at Moorside, near Sellafield, so pulling out would leave the Government having to look for new backers.

The GMB union called for urgent clarity from the Government on the project.GMB official Chris Jukes said:

Len McCluskey, who is standing to be re-elected general secretary of Unite, Britain and Ireland's biggest union, said:

"This delay will be agonising for the community and I urge the government to provide solid assurances that the project will not be allowed to fail.

“Moorside is the West Cumbria region’s largest ever private investment, and this continued uncertainty is evidence of another wheel falling off the government’s industrial strategy and underscores why energy should not be a low priority in the Brexit negotiations.

“For the people of Copeland this is about jobs. Their livelihoods cannot depend on the whim of the private-sector and the government must step up to secure jobs and skills at Moorside.”