Scottish and Southern Energy plc has decided to pull out of NuGeneration, the joint venture company it set up with GDF Suez and Iberdrola to develop a new nuclear power station near Sellafield in the UK.

SSE said that, for the time being, its resources are better deployed on business activities and technologies where it has ’the greatest knowledge and experience’.

SSE will sell its 25% stake in NuGen to GDF Suez and Iberdrola, making them 50:50 partners in NuGen.

In a statement Iberdrola and GDF Suez said: “We are highly confident about our prospects in respect of our development plans in West Cumbria and there is no reason why this decision by SSE should impact upon our plans or timetable.”

NuGen has an option to purchase land for the development of a new nuclear power station, of up to 3.6GW, near Sellafield in West Cumbria. The option was secured in October 2009 for an initial cash consideration of £19.5m and the site was named as a suitable place to build a new nuclear power station in the National Policy Statement for Nuclear Power Generation published in June 2011.

A final investment decision should take place around 2015 with commercial operation of a new nuclear power station expected by 2023.

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