12.09.2018_No181 / News in Brief

NuGen Announces Redundancies At UK’s Moorside Nuclear Project

Plans & Construction

12 Sep (NucNet): More than 60 employees at Toshiba’s NuGen unit — the company tasked with building three Westinghouse Generation III+ AP1000 units at Moorside in Cumbria, northwest England — will lose their jobs, the company announced on 11 September 2018.

The company blamed the job losses on the length of time it had taken to negotiate a deal to transfer ownership of the company from Toshiba to Korea Electric Power Corporation and that it would now only retain employees in roles necessary to complete the sale.

“NuGen staff were informed that owing to the protracted period of time it has taken to secure a way forward for the Moorside Project, there would be a phased reduction in the headcount within the NuGen organisation,” it said in a statement.

NuGen said the team’s headcount would be reduced from over 100 to less than 40.

The deal between Kepco and Toshiba ran into problems after the UK announced in June that it was considering how the funding for new nuclear power plants should be structured. One model under review is for private investors to secure a return on a nuclear plant’s so-called regulated asset base (RAB).

In July, Toshiba said it was exploring alternative options for the business and had terminated Kepco’s preferred bidder status. Discussions are continuing between Kepko, Toshiba and the governments of the UK and South Korea as to what exactly a RAB model might entail.

The RAB model is essentially a type of contract drawn up with the backing of government which calculates the costs and profits of a project before it is started, and allocates an investor’s profits from day one.

A government regulator sets a fixed number, the RAB, which attempts to account for all the future costs involved in the completion of a project. The regulator then also sets a fixed rate of return for the investors based on those costs.

NuGen said yesterday that it remains committed to delivering “low-carbon, low cost nuclear power at Moorside”.

The energy union GMB said yesterday that a nuclear development agency should be created to make sure the Moorside project goes ahead. GMB said if the government takes a stake in Moorside, uncertainty surrounding the project will be eradicated.

Related reports in the NucNet database (available to subscribers):

  • Energy Union Calls For Government To Intervene In Moorside Nuclear Project (News in Brief No.180, 11 September 2018)

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David Dalton

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