utility Iberdrola said it would not comment on reports it is pulling
out of a UK nuclear joint venture with plans to build up to 3.6 GW of
new nuclear plant on a site known as Moorside near the Sellafield
nuclear and chemical waste complex in northwest England.
a spokeman for NuGeneration, the nuclear joint venture between
Iberdrola and the French utility GDF Suez, said October 1, “Our parent
companies are 100% committed to our Moorside project in West Cumbria.”
An unsourced story in the UK’s Sunday Times, September 30, said Iberdrola was pulling out of the UK nuclear market.
A spokesman for Iberdrola in Madrid said October 1 that the company does not comment on rumors.
A well placed source at GDF Suez told i-NUCLEAR October 1 that GDF Suez remained committed to the project.
2011, the UK government included the Moorside site on its list of sites
suitable for new nuclear power plants in its National Policy Statement.
October 2009, NuGen had been successful in securing an option to
purchase land for the development on the West Cumbrian coast from the
Nuclear Decommissioning Authority for a total cash consideration of £70
according to a 2009 Freedom of Information Act request, NuGen paid only
£19.5 million for the option at the time and would only pay the
remainder on a decision to exercise the option.
UK Nuclear Decommissioning Authority has about 250 hectares of surplus
land of which 190 hectares was set aside for new nuclear power plant
projects. The NDA had divided that 190 hectares at Sellafield into four
lots and NuGen was to be given the right to choose two of the four lots
for its new build project when it exercised its option on the land,
according to the 2009 FOI Act request. The remaining two lots would be
retained by the NDA.
was given five years to exercise the option and take a 999-year lease
on the property. That would appear to give NuGen until October 2014 to
exercise the option, about a year before it said it expects to take a
“final investment decision.”
has said it expects to take a final investment decision “around 2015.”
Current expectations are that any new power station would be
commissioned “around 2023,” the company has said.—David Stellfox