30 Jun (NucNet): Toshiba Corporation of Japan has acquired a controlling stake in NuGeneration Ltd (NuGen), the UK-based nuclear energy company that plans to build three Westinghouse AP1000 reactors at the Moorside nuclear site in Cumbria, northwest England.
The deal, which was agreed in principle in January 2014, sees Toshiba acquire a 60 percent stake in NuGen and GDF Suez of France retain a 40-percent holding in the company.
The statement did not give a price for the deal, but the provisional price announced in January 2014 was 102 million pounds sterling (173 million US dollars, 127 million euros).
The deal means Toshiba has bought all of Iberdrola of Spain’s indirect 50 percent holding in the project. NuGen was formally established in 2010 and originally owned by GDF Suez, Iberdrola and Scottish and Southern Energy.
Toshiba said the deal will “boost development” of the Moorside project, with a final investment decision expected in 2018 and the first reactor online by 2024.
The statement said NuGen will be undertaking preparatory work, including regulatory, permitting and commercial activities. The focus in 2014 will be on site investigations, preliminary studies for site layouts and preparation for stakeholder consultations.
NuGen welcomed the change in its shareholding and said the Moorside project will become the UK’s biggest new nuclear output from a single site – and Europe’s largest new nuclear construction plan.
Toshiba said a deal has also been concluded with the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority on the extension of a land option agreement for the Moorside site.
Each Westinghouse AP1000 reactor will take approximately four years to build. Westinghouse is a group company of Toshiba.
In 2011, UK nuclear regulators completed their planned assessment of the AP1000 reactor design and issued interim design acceptance confirmation and interim statement of design acceptability.
When fully operational, the Moorside site is expected to deliver around seven percent of the UK’s future electricity requirements, Toshiba said.
Tractebel Engineering, a subsidiary of GDF Suez, will provide engineering services from feasibility studies through construction, operation, maintenance and decommissioning.
Westinghouse intends to use its Springfields facility, a UK-licensed fuel manufacturing facility near Preston to manufacture the fuel for AP1000 reactors built in the UK, thereby securing indigenous fuel supply. The facility currently manufactures fuel for the entire UK fleet of advanced gas-cooled reactors, and pressurised water reactor fuel for export.