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Chinese eye stake in troubled Moorside reactor

A Chinese state-owned energy giant is reported to be considering taking a stake in Toshiba’s £10bn Moorside nuclear scheme on the Cumbrian coast.

According to the Sunday Times, a delegation from the State Nuclear Power Technology Corporation (SNPTC) and its parent company State Power Investment Corporation was due to meet with executives from Nugen and the Nuclear Industry Association tomorrow to discuss options for taking a stake in the reactor.

Talks over the future of the £10bn Cumbrian reactor come after the Chinese took a 33 per cent stake in the £18bn Hinkley Point C scheme on the Somerset coast.

Earlier this month Nugen launched a review of the entire project following the withdrawal of one of its key backers.

Engie, the French energy firm which owned a 40 per cent stake in NuGen, triggered a clause that forced 60 per cent-stakeholder Toshiba to buy its 40 per cent share.

Toshiba has been beset with financial difficulties recently, largely brought on by problems in its US reactor arm Westinghouse.

The reactor firm, which is expected to supply Moorside with three AP100 reactors, last month filed for bankruptcy following a number of ill-fated construction projects in the US.

After posting heavy losses in February, Toshiba confirmed that it would be reviewing its nuclear business outside of Japan, including Moorside.

Following this global review, the company confirmed it would remain involved in the development of the project but ruled out playing any part in its construction.

According to the Times, SNPTC may look to install its own model of reactor into the Moorside, which is a derivative of Westinghouse’s AP1000 model slated to be installed in the site.

Nugen has been contacted for comment.

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