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Tuesday, 02 September 2014

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NuGen’s pledge on nuclear build in Cumbria

NuGen has reassured west Cumbria of its commitment to a new nuclear build near Sellafield and says it is confident of building a robust commercial case for the massive investment.

The Sunday Times reported last month that one half of the NuGen consortium was pulling out.

It was said that Spanish company Iberdrola had told its partner GDF Suez it was withdrawing, leaving the £5 billion Moorside project in serious doubt.

But now John McNamara, head of communications at NuGen, has met Cumbrian businesses at the British Energy Coast Business Cluster to brief them on the company’s progress.

He told them NuGen had started work on the Moorside site three weeks ago to begin assessing its suitability and will be much more high profile in 2013 with a website portal for the project and a schedule of regional and local events.

Initial site assessment would take around eight months, Mr McNamara said.

“Skills are hugely important to us and the industry and we will be having meetings will the local education providers,” he added.

“NuGen is determined to take this forward in this region and each one of these power stations will be like building the Olympic park in Cumbria.”

Mr McNamara said that NuGen was aiming to make its final decision on investment in 2015 which would mean the nuclear power station coming online for 2025, but that required clarity from the Government about its nuclear policy.

He said: “NuGen wants to be part of that first tranche of new nuclear power stations.

“Yes, there are issues and potential barriers to investment, but we are building a robust case for investment and will make a commercial decision.”

Mineral rights claimed in the area were a “thorny issue” that will have to be negotiated or sorted out in the courts, he added.

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