Cumbrians Opposed to a Radioactive Environment have published a new briefing on the proposed nuclear power station at Moorside adjacent to Sellafield. The date for a final investment decision has now slipped from around 2015 to the end of 2018. Over the next four years NuGen plans to undertake a range of preparatory works, preliminary studies for site layouts, stakeholder engagement etc. Full development of the site, projected ‘to create between 14,000 and 21000 UK jobs’ would see 3.4GW generated by three Westinghouse AP 1000 reactors – with Toshiba claiming that each of the reactors ‘will take approximately 4 years to build’, that the first reactor is ‘targeted for operation in 2024’ and that operation of all three new reactors would be ‘delivered by 2026’. These overly ambitious claims, as with the employment numbers, appear somewhat implausible. In welcoming this week’s announcement, the West Cumbrian pro-nuclear lobby has clearly taken no account of the many major hurdles facing the project such as the progress of the Regulators’ Generic Design Assessment (GDA) of the Westinghouse AP1000. With only Stage 1 of the complex assessment process completed, further delays to the process are likely as evident from the Regulators’ latest Progress Report (January – March 2014) which points to 51 ‘technically challenging’ issues still to be resolved and that ‘we expect the completion of GDA for the AP1000 reactor design to take a number of years’. Other issues likely to delay the project include connecting the reactors to the electricity Grid and the choice of cooling water source for the new reactors.