'Plans for a new nuclear power station in Cumbria have been scrapped after the Japanese conglomerate Toshiba announced it was winding up the UK unit behind the project.
Toshiba said it would take a 18.8bn Japanese yen (£125m) hit from closing its NuGeneration subsidiary, which had already been cut to a skeleton staff, after it failed to find a buyer for the scheme.
The decision represents a major blow to the government’s ambitions for new nuclear and leaves a huge hole in energy policy. The plant would have provided about 7% of UK electricity.
“This is a huge disappointment and a crushing blow to hopes of a revival of the UK nuclear energy industry,” said Tim Yeo, the chair of pro-nuclear lobby group New Nuclear Watch Institute and a former Tory MP.
Greenpeace UK’s executive director, John Sauven, said: “The end of the Moorside plan represents a failure of the government’s nuclear gamble.”
After a board meeting of Toshiba on Thursday, the company said it was winding up NuGeneration because of its inability to find a buyer and the ongoing costs it was incurring. The firm has already spent more than £400m on the project.
“Toshiba recognises that the economically rational decision is to withdraw from the UK nuclear power plant construction project, and has resolved to take steps to wind-up NuGen,” the firm said in a statement.
The plant first ran into trouble when Toshiba’s US nuclear unit, Westinghouse, was declared bankrupt last year, leading it to search for a buyer to take the scheme. Toshiba also said it would no longer take forward new nuclear projects overseas.'
Read more: UK nuclear power station plans scrapped as Toshiba pulls out
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