Toshiba’s NuGen has announced that it is downsizing the UK new build nuclear project at Moorside in Cumbria. The company is to cut over 60% of its team.
The remaining staff will focus on supporting the sale by Toshiba of the project for a 3GWe nuclear plant, which was originally to have three Westinghouse AP1000 units.
The Moorside project faced several setbacks after Toshiba's US-based subsdiary, Westinghouse, went bankrupt in March 2017. Following the bankruptcy, NuGen joint venture partner Engie pulled out of the project, leaving Toshiba to seek new investors.
Toshiba put NuGen up for sale and in December Korea Electric Power Corp (Kepco) was named as the preferred bidder. But the deal ran into problems after the UK announced in June that it was considering how the funding for new nuclear projects should be structured. In July, Toshiba said it was exploring alternative options for the business and had terminated Kepco’s preferred bidder status.
In response to the news of the job cuts, Justin Bowden, national secretary of the GMB union called for the UK Nuclear Decommissioning Authority to be renamed the Nuclear Development Authority to take over NuGen and develop a new power station at Moorside.
"The lessons from the collapse of Toshiba should have been well and truly learned long ago," Bowden said, adding that "relying on foreign companies and countries for our essential energy needs is utterly irresponsible."