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Nuclear power: Moorside

Information and reports about the proposed Moorside nuclear power station.

Latest developments

On 11 December 2015 the Environment Agency issued a Water Discharge Activity permit to NuGen which allows the company to discharge waste water created from pre-construction activities on the site.

Find out how to request a copy of the permit.

Background

Moorside is a section of land adjacent to Sellafield that was nominated as a potential site for a new nuclear power station when the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) was developing its Nuclear National Policy Statement (NPS). DECC consulted widely on the draft NPS before deciding that the site should be included. Toshiba and ENGIE’s (formerly GDF SUEZ) joint venture company, NuGen, is proposing to build a nuclear power station that, if approved, would generate up to 3.4 gigawatt (GW) of electricity.

Planning and consents for Moorside

Under the Planning Act 2008, the Planning Inspectorate considers all applications to develop nationally significant energy infrastructure projects in England and Wales. The inspectorate then makes recommendations to ministers at BEIS, who make the final decision on the applications.

Find out more about the planning and consents process for national energy infrastructure.

NuGen are at the pre-application stage.

The Environment Agency is a consultee in this process and will comment on NuGen’s proposals, providing advice on how they can ensure that they meet high standards of environmental protection.

The Environment Agency responded to NuGen’s Development Consent Order Stage 1 (DCO1) consultation and the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) scoping request consultation referred to them by the Planning Inspectorate. The response is published in the Planning Inspectorate’s EIA Scoping Opinion document.

NuGen’s Development Consent Order Stage 2 (DCO2) consultation, covering detailed site proposals, closed in July 2016.

Regulation

Licensing and permissioning

The Office for Nuclear Regulation is responsible for licensing and permissioning proposed new sites for nuclear power stations. NuGen has set out its plans for licensing its proposed site at Moorside.

Environmental permitting

Operators of nuclear sites must have permits from the Environment Agency. Through permits, the Environment Agency sets conditions on how each site disposes of its radioactive waste, including discharges to air and water. The Environment Agency checks that operators don’t release radioactivity above their limits and that they use the best available techniques to minimise the radioactive waste they create and the radioactivity they discharge.

The Environment Agency expects to receive a number of environmental permit applications for the operation of a nuclear power station, activities to be carried out during its construction and in relation to associated developments.

The Environment Agency consults on the permit applications it receives for proposed nuclear new build sites.

NuGen’s environmental permit applications for Moorside are available on its website.

Assessing new nuclear power station designs

NuGen is planning to build 3 AP1000 reactors at Moorside.

In March 2017 the Environment Agency and the Office for Nuclear Regulation completed their assessment of Westinghouse Electric Company’s AP1000® nuclear power station design that NuGEN propose to build at Moorside, Cumbria. They concluded that the design would be acceptable if built in the UK.

The assessment helps make sure that people and the environment would be properly protected. The regulators will use this work to help inform decisions on site licensing and environmental permit applications from NuGen.

Community engagement

Understanding and listening to the views of local people is important. The Environment Agency consults on the permit applications it receives for proposed nuclear new build sites. It also consulted on its assessment of Westinghouse’s AP1000 new nuclear power station design in 2010.

Contact us

Email: moorsidennb@environment-agency.gov.uk

Documents about Westinghouse Electric Company’s AP1000™ nuclear reactor design

Guidance on permitting

Guidance relating to new nuclear power stations.

Published 2 October 2015
Last updated 18 January 2016 + show all updates
  1. On 11 December 2015 the Environment Agency issued a Water Discharge Activity permit to NuGen which allows the company to discharge waste water created from pre-construction activities on the site.
  2. First published.