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NuGen's Moorside nuclear plant completion date pushed back by a year

NuGen Moorside power plant Cumbria CGI
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A multibillion-pound nuclear plant in Cumbria masterplanned by Scott Brownrigg will be delayed by at least a year, its developer has confirmed

The first reactor at NuGen’s £10 billion Moorside plant next to Sellafield was originally expected to be fully operational by 2024, but the company has now admitted it will not be ready until the end of 2025.

According to the AJ’s sister publication Construction News, the revised construction timetable emerged in NuGen’s stage two consultation document published this week. NuGen said the delay was due to the company ’learning more about the delivery of the project’.

A NuGen spokesman said: ’The Moorside project is still in delivery phase and we remain on track to receive final investment decision in 2018.

’Beyond 2018 there are elements of the project that are outside of our control, such as state aid process and government negotiations. That is why we think it is more appropriate to give the mid-2020s as the date for completion.’

Site masterplanner Scott Brownrigg has insisted its design work ’continues as per programme’ with a view that all ’three reactors will be operational in the late 2020s’.

However it is currently unclear how the delay will impact the separate RIBA-backed competition to find a designer for ’various buildings’ on the plot, including a visitor centre and an accommodation block. Images of the shortlisted entries have been published today (17 May). 

The news from Moorside comes just a week after EDF, the developer of Hinkley Point C, admitted that the planned completion of the Somerset project could be pushed back until 2026.

EDF’s statement confirmed a 115-month construction period from the date of a final investment decision, which will now not take place until September at the earliest.

The proposed Moorside project near Sellafield in Cumbria will be the largest nuclear development in Europe.

The plant will include three Westinghouse AP1000 reactors producing up to 3.8GW of capacity – more than 7 per cent of the UK’s energy needs.

During peak construction it will employ more than 6,500 construction workers, with up to 21,000 jobs expected to be created throughout the plant’s lifetime.



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