The signing follows successful completion of site suitability studies at Moorside by NuGen, which validate the site (to the north and west of the Sellafield complex), as being suitable for construction of three reactors.
NuGen will now take responsibility for the land following payment of an undisclosed sum to the NDA. The deal underpins the successful policy of selling NDA land to new nuclear developers – and creating value for the taxpayer.
The NuGen Board approved the land contract signing at a meeting in Tokyo. The company is now confident the site is suitable for construction of three AP1000® reactors, as all criteria were satisfied.
NuGen Chief Executive, Tom Samson, signed the land deal with the NDA’s Chief Executive, John Clarke.
Mr. Samson was delighted at the “major milestone for NuGen’s Moorside project.”
This is a key moment in our Moorside Project journey. Our board has reached a decision of significance which confirms Moorside is suitable, against criteria at this stage of the development. NuGen, our vendors and our expert partners are all confident we can build three reactors on the site.
This is great news for the North-West, and particularly for West Cumbria, the UK’s nuclear heartland. We are delighted to be taking forward Moorside, a massive development which will supply some 7 per cent of the UK’s future electricity.
Site characterisation studies will continue at Moorside in the autumn and will feed in to detailed planning and site layout work.
John Clarke, the NDA’s CEO added:
The completion of this stage of the land sale brings a range of benefits both nationally and locally. It supports the initiative to have West Cumbria recognised as a centre of nuclear excellence, building on over six decades of nuclear expertise in the area, whilst delivering excellent value for money for the taxpayer and the national economy.
Energy Minister, Andrea Leadsom, welcomed the joint NuGen-NDA announcement. She said:
Backing the next generation of nuclear projects is a key part of our long-term plan to power the economy with clean, secure energy and keep bills as low as possible for hardworking families and businesses.
We want the recovery to benefit all parts of our country, and Moorside will be a major infrastructure project that creates jobs and economic security for thousands of people and helps to deliver the Northern Powerhouse.
Local MP for Copeland, Jamie Reed, said the boost in confidence the decision gave his constituency, was “enormous.”
Here in West Cumbria we have lobbied long and hard for new nuclear build to complement the array of world-class nuclear skills we already have here. It’s taken 10 years to reach this point. The news that NuGen’s shareholders are confident in the site, enough so to demonstrate their commitment and intent by becoming land-owners, is warmly welcomed and further proof that West Cumbria’s best days are ahead of us.