Toshiba Corporation has reached an agreement in principle with GDF Suez of France and Iberdrola of Spain to take a 60 percent stake in NuGeneration Limited (NuGen), the UK-based nuclear energy company which plans to build three Westinghouse nuclear reactors at the Moorside site in Cumbria, northwest England.
As the majority owner of NuGen, Toshiba, in collaboration with its group company, Westinghouse Electric Company, intends to move forward with the construction of three AP1000 nuclear reactors on the Moorside site, in partnership with GDF Suez, a leading European nuclear operator.
Westinghouse said the reactors will have a combined capacity of 3,400 megawatts and the first unit is expected to be online in 2024. When fully operational, the Moorside nuclear station is expected to deliver approximately seven percent of the UK’s electricity requirements.
Under an agreement with Iberdrola, Toshiba will purchase all of Iberdrola’s indirect 50 percent holding in the project. Under a separate agreement with GDF Suez, Toshiba will purchase a further 10 percent holding in the project giving Toshiba a 60 percent stake in NuGen.
The provisional total purchase price of 102 million pounds sterling (167 million US dollars, 122 million euros) is subject to adjustment, as is customary in such major transactions, while final agreements are subject to obtaining the relevant authorisations and consents and other required processes. Toshiba said it aims to complete the overall transaction within the first half of calendar year 2014.
Westinghouse Springfields, a fuel manufacturing facility near Preston in northwest England, will manufacture the fuel for the new AP1000 reactors, Westinghouse said. The facility manufactures fuel for the entire UK advanced gas-cooled reactor fleet, and pressurised water reactor fuel for export.
In 2011, UK nuclear regulators completed their planned assessment of the AP1000 reactor design and issued interim design acceptance confirmation and interim statement of design acceptability.
Chris Davies, who represents the northwest of England in the European Parliament and is Liberal Democrat environment spokesman, said most of the UK’s nuclear and coal power stations are coming to the end of their lives and must be replaced. He said new nuclear plants have a role to play.
“It’s true that the problem of nuclear waste is not yet resolved, but there is no perfect energy solution and the problem of climate change is even greater,” he said.
In October 2013, EDF Group and the UK government reached an agreement on the key commercial terms for an investment contract that could lead to the construction of two new EPR units at Hinkley Point C in Somerset, southwest England.
In December 2013, the government agreed to provide a loan guarantee to Japan’s Hitachi to help it finance two Hitachi Generation III+ advanced boiling water reactor (ABWR) units at the Wylfa Newydd nuclear site in Anglesey, north Wales.