Plans for a new 3,400-MW nuclear plant in the U.K. collapsed on Nov. 8 when Toshiba Corp., the project's owner, quit the deal. Powered by three Westinghouse AP1000 reactors, the Moorside plant, near Sellafield in Cumbria, would have been the U.K.’s largest new nuclear installation.
Toshiba says it pulled the plug on Moorside after failing to find new investors in the project company NuGeneration Ltd. Toshiba became NuGen’s sole owner last year after it was contractually required to buy the 40% held by French-owned Engie S.A. The acquisition followed the filing for Chapter 11 court protection by Toshiba subsidiary Westinghouse Electric Co. in the U.S.
Unwilling to carry all the project risk alone, the Toshiba board “took the rational decision to withdraw from the U.K. nuclear power plant construction project,” reports the company. It expects to write off $165 million on its NuGen investments.
The Moorside failure is a blow for the U.K. government’s plan to build a fleet of new nuclear plants. “All proposed new nuclear projects in the U.K. are led by private sector developers…this is entirely a commercial decision for Toshiba,” notes a spokesman.
Moorside would have surpassed the U.K.’s 3,200-MW Hinkley Point C, now being built in Somerset by France’s EDF with Chinese partners.