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Toshiba casts doubt on £10bn Moorside nuclear plant

Plans to build a £10bn nuclear power plant in Cumbria have been cast in doubt after one of the developer’s biggest backers said it was reviewing its investment in nuclear outside of its native Japan.

Toshiba said that it was rethinking its position in the sector and would be reviewing projects outside of Japan, including the Moorside scheme.

The company’s president and chief executive Satoshi Tsunakawa said: “Going forward, we will revise the positioning of the nuclear business as our main focus business in the energy sector, and review the future of nuclear businesses outside of Japan.”

The company currently holds a 60 per cent stake in the Moorside plant’s development company NuGen. French firm Engie owns the other 40 per cent.

The planned Moorside project would be one of the largest nuclear developments in Europe.

It will include three AP1000 reactors developed by Toshiba subsidiary Westinghouse, producing up to 3.8 GW of capacity – more than 7 per cent of the UK’s energy needs.

Last year it was revealed that the completion date for the Moorside plant had been pushed back by a year to 2025 after NuGen said it was “learning more about the delivery of the project”.

NuGen has said previously that it expected to complete generic design assessment for the reactor this year, ahead of making a final investment decision on the plant in 2018.

During peak construction, the scheme would employ more than 6,500 construction workers, with up to 21,000 jobs expected to be created throughout the plant’s lifetime.

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