Toshiba’s announcement that they will stay on to develop the ‘initial phase’ of developing the Moorside project before selling its 60% stake at a later date follows the resignation of the Chairman Shigenori Shiga and its announcement that it will not be involved in the construction of new nuclear reactors at the Sellafield ‘Moorside’ development in west Cumbria.
For NFLA there is a strong sense of ‘déjà vu’ with Toshiba’s announcement and the sorry state of the UK’s new nuclear policy. Over the past decade, international energy utilities E-on, RWE Npower, Iberdrola and Centrica have all confidently announced their commitment to building new nuclear power stations, whether at Hinkley Point, Wylfa or Moorside, but then had to pull out as they realise they cannot afford the huge levels of investment that such projects require.
Toshiba’s woes originate from huge overspends in its nuclear business in the United States, which could reach over $6 billion. Its announcement yesterday does not inspire any confidence in the Moorside project, particularly as its consortium partner Engie also appears to have ambitions to get out of new nuclear to pursue its laudable ambitions of developing decentralised renewable energy.