China General Nuclear also reveals plans to speed up delivery of nuclear power plant in Essex


China General Nuclear has flagged interest in building on the Moorside site recently vacated by Toshiba subsidiary NuGen as it reveals plans to speed up development of a nuclear power plant in Essex.

China General Nuclear (CGN), who is already developing Hinkley Point C (pictured) with EDF Energy, is carrying out technical assessments with a view to building another plant with the French energy giant in Bradwell, Essex.

Speaking at the Nuclear 2018 conference in London Rob Davies, the UK chief operating officer of CGN, said: “With the demise of NuGen there is a gap in the UK’s nuclear programme; the expected sequence of reactors coming down the line has been interrupted.

“We are confident we can close that gap by bringing Bradwell into operation much sooner.”

When asked whether CGN was interested in building on the Moorside site, by Sellafield in Cumbria, Davies replied: “Moorside is a very smart site. A nice site.”

“Our commitment is to Bradwell. [But] to make nuclear successful you need a fleet effect and Moorside is a nice site.”

The ‘fleet effect’ is the gains in productivity – and the decrease in cost – which can be achieved by securing a development pipeline.

Davies also said CGN would always work with EDF on UK nuclear projects.

In 2015 NuGen was appointed to construct a £15bn power station on the Cumbrian site, but things fell apart after another Toshiba subsidiary due to supply the nuclear reactor filed for bankruptcy.

State-owned South-Korean firm Kepco was selected as preferred bidder over China General Nuclear (CGN) last December, but the sale fell through, leaving Toshiba to wind-up NuGen last month.

But the site remains ear-marked for a new nuclear facility, pending support from government and Nuclear Decommissioning Authority.