Hundreds of Lancashire nuclear workers’ jobs have been safeguarded with the announcement that Toshiba is to invest around £100m in the massive NuGen project in West Cumbria.
Around 1200 workers are employed at Westinghouse’s Springfields site near Preston – which is where fuel for the new NuGen reactors will be made.
Westinghouse intends to build three AP1000 reactors at the site at Moorside, near Sellafield.
Toshiba’s announcement could safeguard around 600 jobs which would otherwise be at risk as the older Advanced Gas-Cooled Reactors close.
Westinghouse announced that the Toshiba Corporation has agreed in principle to buy a 60 percent share in the NuGeneration Limited (NuGen) Moorside project, and they intend to move forward with the AP1000 new-build project in partnership with GDF SUEZ.
The agreement provides that three Westinghouse AP1000 nuclear reactors with a combined capacity of 3.4 GW will be built on the UK site.
The first unit is expected to be online by 2024, helping to support the U.K. government’s low carbon and energy security objectives at a time when existing power plants are retiring and low-carbon generation is required to meet national and international commitments.
When fully operational, the Moorside site is expected to deliver approximately seven percent of the electricity requirements in the U.K.
The construction of these new units will create thousands of skilled jobs over the next decade.
Westinghouse president and CEO Danny Roderick said: “We look forward to a long and mutually beneficial relationship with the owners of NuGen, as well as nuclear suppliers in Cumbria and throughout the United Kingdom.”