Land deal secures Cumbria's Moorside nuclear plant

Westinghouse nuclear reactor in China Image copyright other
Image caption The Westinghouse reactor proposed for Moorside is being built at a number of sites across the world

The site of a £10bn nuclear power plant in Cumbria has been confirmed after a deal to secure land near the existing Sellafield complex was completed.

Joint venture group Nugen said it had paid an undisclosed sum for the vast tract of land at Moorside.

The project will see three nuclear reactors constructed on the site, which was owned by the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA).

The sale follows months of tests to ensure the area was suitable.

The three Westinghouse reactors planned for Moorside will have a combined output of 3.4 gigawatts. Nugen said they will be able to supply almost 7% of the UK's electricity requirements.

Each of the reactors will take about four years to build.

Image copyright Sellafield Ltd
Image caption The Sellafield site is being decommissioned

Nugen chief executive Tom Samson said: "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% of the UK's future electricity."

John Clarke, CEO of the NDA, said: "The completion of the land sale 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 added: "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."

Copeland MP Jamie Reed said: "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. This latest news is warmly welcomed and further proof that West Cumbria's best days are ahead of us."

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