Moorside nuclear power station

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Moorside nuclear power station
CountryUnited Kingdom
LocationSellafield, Cumbria
Coordinates54°25′46″N 3°30′39″W / 54.429566°N 3.510911°W / 54.429566; -3.510911Coordinates: 54°25′46″N 3°30′39″W / 54.429566°N 3.510911°W / 54.429566; -3.510911
Nuclear power station
Reactor typePWR (AP1000 or APR-1400)
External links

Moorside Nuclear Power Station was proposed for a site near Sellafield, in Cumbria, United Kingdom.[1] The original plan by NuGeneration, a British subsidiary of Toshiba-owned Westinghouse Electric Company, had the station coming online from 2024 with 3.4GW of new nuclear capacity, from 3 AP1000 reactors. Work up to 2018 would include acquiring the site licence, the development consent order, and other required permits and permissions to start work. Site preparation would take two years, up to 2020.[2]

Following the Chapter 11 bankruptcy of Westinghouse in March 2017, the project was put under review.[3] From December 2017 to July 2018 Kepco was named as preferred bidder.[4][5] Kepco were thought to prefer their own APR-1400 reactor design for the site, a design which had not yet gone through generic design assessment with the UK's Office for Nuclear Regulation.

On 8 November 2018, it was announced that Toshiba plans for the new nuclear power station had been scrapped after Toshiba stated that it was to wind up its subsidiary company, NuGen.[6] Moorside’s site will be handed over to the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, with the government issuing a statement reaffirming its commitment to new nuclear.[7]


The option for a 190-hectare (470-acre) plot north of Sellafield was acquired in October 2009 for GB£70 million by a joint venture formed by Iberdrola, GdF-Suez, and Scottish & Southern,[8] which named itself NuGeneration (NuGen) in November 2010.[9] The future plant was named Moorside in December 2011.[10] Toshiba, as owner of Westinghouse, took over Iberdrola's stake in NuGen in 2013, allowing the completion of the generic design assessment (GDA) for the AP1000 design by UK regulators. The GDA required a customer and specific site to finalize engineering details.[11]

In 2014, the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority agreed commercial terms with developer NuGen to extend a land option agreement to build three reactors at Moorside.[12] Later that year, HM Treasury agreed to provide financial security to investors in the project.[13]

In July 2015, NuGen exercised its option and purchased the land near Sellafield needed for the Moorside plant, approximately 200 hectares, for an undisclosed sum.[14]

In October 2016, National Grid announced proposals for consultation for a £2.8 billion project to connect the new plant to the national electricity grid. The proposal involves putting power-lines underground and under Morecambe Bay to reduce the impact on the Lake District National Park.[15]

Following the bankruptcy of Westinghouse in March 2017, Engie pulled out of NuGen in July, leaving Toshiba as the sole owner of NuGen.

In December 2017, NuGen announced that Kepco was named the preferred bidder to acquire NuGen from Toshiba. If the sale to Kepco proceeds, the three AP1000 reactors were likely to be replaced by two APR-1400 units. Tom Samson, CEO of NuGen stated "The Kepco selection presents us with a solution that fully addresses the four questions [on technology, ownership structure, funding solution, and delivery model] that we set ourselves at the start of this process. On technology, the APR1400 tech has been operational now for one year in Korea and it’s a recognised Gen III+ design, and the first Gen III+ design to go into service in the world." The potential design change to APR-1400 would delay the likely in-service date into the late 2020s or early 2030s.[4][16] In July 2018 NuGen announced a consultation to lay off 100 UK staff, while it remained unclear whether the Kepco takeover would go ahead.[17] On 25 July 2018 Toshiba terminated Kepco's status as preferred bidder, but would continue discussions with it and other potential purchasers.[5]

On 8 November 2018, Toshiba announced they withdrawing from the project and liquidating NuGen.[6][18] National Grid expects the £2.8 billion North West Coast Connections project for new power-lines to be abandoned.[19]


The proposal to build the station is opposed by Radiation Free Lakeland, a group of local activists.[20]

A report evaluating the AP1000 reactor design was written by the Edinburgh Energy and Environment Consultancy, commissioned by Radiation Free Lakeland.[21] The report criticizes the design, saying that "The AP1000 reactor design is not fit for purpose and so should be refused a Design Acceptance Confirmation (DAC) and Statement of Design Acceptability (SDA)″.[22]:2


Stage 1 consultation took place between May and July 2015 and a report was published on 23 November 2015. Stage 2 consultation took place between May and July 2016.[23]


Both the AP1000 and the APR-1400 are types of pressurised water reactor (PWR). PWRs constitute the large majority of the world's nuclear power plants, but there is currently only one civil PWR in the UK (Sizewell B), with one more under construction (Hinkley Point C).


Initial plans called for three AP1000 units at Moorside, which is a nuclear power plant designed and sold by Westinghouse.[24] The design has improved use of passive nuclear safety, featuring fewer valves and pumps than previous PWRs and allowing cooling without intervention for up to 72 hours, relying mostly on natural processes such as water flowing downhill and heat rising. This novel design has raised a number of concerns but the design has been approved for use in both the United States and China.

In December 2011, the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) and Environment Agency (EA) had issued interim design acceptance for the AP1000 reactor design. These indicated that there were 51 outstanding issues and the ONR and EA were satisfied with the plans to resolve these issues.[25] The issues include "Justification of novel form of structure for the steel/concrete composite walls and floors known as CA modules"[26]

In 2015, Westinghouse resumed ONR Generic Design Assessment for the AP1000. On 28 March 2017 the ONR issued a Design Acceptance Confirmation for the design, stating that the 51 issues identified in 2011 had received an adequate response.[27][28] However, the following day the designer, Westinghouse, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the U.S. because of $9 billion of losses from its nuclear reactor construction projects, mostly the construction of four AP1000 reactors in the U.S.[29]


In December 2017, it was thought likely that two APR-1400 units will be intended for Moorside.[4] The APR-1400 is designed by the Korea Electric Power Corporation (Kepco). Originally known as the Korean Next Generation Reactor (KNGR),[30] this Generation III reactor was developed from the earlier OPR-1000 design and also incorporates features from the US Combustion Engineering (C-E) System 80+ design.[31] Currently there is one unit in operation (Shin Kori unit 3) and seven units under construction, four in the United Arab Emirates at Barakah[32] and three in South Korea: one at Shin Kori and two at Shin Hanul. Two more units are planned with construction yet to commence at Shin Kori.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "The Moorside project". The Copeland Centre. Retrieved 2 May 2014.
  2. ^ "First AP1000 at Moorside online by 2024, Westinghouse says". Nuclear Engineering International. Retrieved 2 May 2014.
  3. ^ "National Grid puts Moorside plans on hold". World Nuclear News. 16 May 2017. Retrieved 29 August 2017.
  4. ^ a b c Adam Vaughan (6 December 2017). "Korean energy firm rescues UK's Moorside nuclear power project". The Guardian. Retrieved 18 December 2017.
  5. ^ a b "Kepco loses preferred bidder status for NuGen". World Nuclear News. 1 August 2018. Retrieved 2 August 2018.
  6. ^ a b Vaughan, Adam (8 November 2018). "UK nuclear power station plans scrapped as Toshiba pulls out". The Guardian. Retrieved 24 November 2018.
  7. ^ Rennison, Andrew (8 November 2018). "Moorside nuclear plant in doubt as Toshiba withdraws". EMAP Publishing Limited. Archived from the original on 9 November 2018. Retrieved 9 November 2018.
  8. ^ "New nuclear for Sellafield". World Nuclear News. 28 October 2009. Retrieved 5 January 2018.
  9. ^ "Name for third UK builder". World Nuclear News. 29 November 2010. Retrieved 5 January 2018.
  10. ^ "NuGen names future plant Moorside". World Nuclear News. 2 December 2011. Retrieved 5 January 2018.
  11. ^ "Toshiba stake in UK new-build". World Nuclear News. 23 December 2013. Retrieved 5 January 2018.
  12. ^ "NuGen progresses Moorside nuke plans". The Construction Index. Retrieved 2 May 2014.
  13. ^ "New Cumbria nuclear plant moves another step forward". Press release from Department of Energy and Climate Change. Retrieved 18 December 2014.
  14. ^ "NuGen acquires land for Moorside project". World Nuclear News. 14 July 2015. Retrieved 26 July 2015.
  15. ^ "UK's National Grid updates plans for new nuclear plants". World Nuclear News. 25 October 2016. Retrieved 27 October 2016.
  16. ^ "Kepco named preferred bidder for UK's NuGen". World Nuclear News. 7 December 2017. Retrieved 5 January 2018.
  17. ^ Vaughan, Adam (29 July 2018). "Fate of new Moorside nuclear power station in Cumbria in doubt". The Guardian. Retrieved 30 July 2018.
  18. ^ "Toshiba Nugen Liquidation Announcement" (PDF). Toshiba Corporation. Retrieved 9 November 2018.
  19. ^ Dicicco, Luke (21 November 2018). "National Grid to pull plug on £2.8bn connection project after Moorside demise". News and Star. Retrieved 24 November 2018.
  20. ^ Clarke, Andrew (27 September 2014). "Protest campaign launched against nuclear power station near Sellafield". News and Star. Carlisle. Archived from the original on 3 December 2014. Retrieved 8 December 2014.
  21. ^ "Moorside reactors 'too great a risk to public health and safety', report claims". News and Star. Carlisle, Cumbria. 22 November 2016. Retrieved 5 January 2018.
  22. ^ Roche, Pete (November 2016). The AP1000 Nuclear Reactor Design (PDF) (Report). Edinburgh Energy and Environment Consultancy. Archived from the original (PDF) on 30 January 2017. Retrieved 5 January 2018.
  23. ^ "Stage Two Consultation". Retrieved 28 April 2017.
  24. ^ "UK partnership for AP1000 confirmed". World Nuclear News. 30 June 2014. Retrieved 5 January 2018.
  25. ^
  26. ^
  27. ^ "AP1000 design completes UK regulatory assessment". World Nuclear News. 30 March 2017. Retrieved 8 April 2017.
  28. ^ "New nuclear power stations: Generic Design Assessment: Design Acceptance Confirmation for the AP1000® Reactor" (PDF). ONR. 28 March 2017. Retrieved 8 April 2017.
  29. ^ "Westinghouse files for bankruptcy". Nuclear Engineering International. 29 March 2017. Retrieved 4 April 2017.
  30. ^ Goldberg, Stephen M.; Rosner, Robert (2011). Nuclear Reactors: Generation to Generation (PDF). Global Nuclear Future. American Academy of Arts and Sciences. p. 7. ISBN 0-87724-090-6. Retrieved 26 August 2014.
  31. ^ US design certification sought for APR1400, 2013. WNN
  32. ^ "Reactor vessel installed at Barakah 2". World Nuclear News. 18 June 2015.