Cumbrian MPs ramp up Moorside pressure

A cross-party group of Cumbrian MPs have joined forces to stress their support for the company behind Moorside following continued uncertainty around the future of the nuclear new build.

Led by Copeland MP, Trudy Harrison, the six members of parliament for Cumbria have written to the Korean company, Kepco, stressing their support for NuGen and urging for a commitment to the nuclear power plant.

It comes after NuGen announced it will reduce its core team, axing more than 50 jobs following delays in concluding a deal.

A number of other companies are said to be in discussions to purchase NuGen along with Kepco, after the Korean company was stripped of its preferred bidder status in July.

Increasing the pressure, Mrs Harrison has organised regular Moorside Strategic Partnership meetings to be held in the community, bringing together key industry figures and Government officials to push for urgent progress – the first meeting is set to take place in Whitehaven in the autumn.

Mrs Harrison, said: “There is no doubt, Cumbria needs Moorside and the country needs new nuclear.  What is important now is that all MPs in Cumbria put politics away and work constructively to getting it delivered. 

“I have formed the Moorside Strategic Partnership, of which Government officials will be part of, our first meeting will be in Copeland with partners and will focus on getting Moorside over the line.  Cumbria needs to speak with one voice, we have signed a joint letter to KEPCO and I continue to meet with other investors. 

“I remain determined to deliver on Moorside, for the benefit of Copeland and I work closely with my colleagues in BEIS to make it happen.”

In their letter, the six Cumbrian MPs said: “Cumbria is the centre of nuclear excellence, hosting new build, decommissioning, training, R&D and a huge swathe of the country’s supply chain.

“We are committed to ensuring that nuclear new build can once again play a role in our county’s economy and have been working with NuGen for a number of years to support the development of Moorside.

“Since the present owners of NuGen, Toshiba announced an intention to end investments in the worldwide nuclear market and to sell NuGen we have had significant uncertainty in our region.

“When the Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO) came forward and bid to acquire the project, we could see a positive outcome, bringing one of the few companies to have ever delivered new nuclear on time and on budget to the UK, and more importantly, to our region.

“Whilst it is taking a prolonged period of time to move towards an acquisition, we are united in wanting to support KEPCO in bringing the APR1400 technology and linking up Cumbrian and Korean companies to ensure success at Moorside.

“We are committed to the development and improvement of Cumbria and investment by KEPCO in Cumbria would lead to significant investment in our region.”