Landmark announcement for new nuke power station
Last updated at 13:32, Thursday, 29 October 2009
PLANS for another new nuclear power station in Cumbria have been revealed.
The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority yesterday announced it had sold a 618-acre site north of Sellafield to a consortium for £70m.
The consortium includes giant energy firms Iberdrola S.A, of Spain, GDF SUEZ S.A of Frances, and Scottish & Southern Energy plc.
Sellafield is thought to one of the favourites for becoming a new nuclear power station site – creating thousands of construction and other jobs because it is next to an existing nuclear site.
The land adjacent to Sellafield is one of 11 sites currently going through the government’s nomination process.
German utility firm RWE npower has also submitted two sites in West Cumbria through the Strategic Siting Assessment process – one at Braystones near Sellafield and the other at Kirksanton outside Millom.
The final list of sites is to be published shortly and partners are confident the land at Sellafield will be among those going forward to the public consultation phase, which is expected to start in the winter.
The consortium which has bought the Sellafield land wants to begin construction of the new power station by 2015.
The final approved sites will be published in spring or summer next year.
Brian Wilson, a former government energy minister and now chairman of the Britain’s Energy Coast Board, said: “This is the news West Cumbria has been waiting for and paves the way for thousands of jobs in the construction phase and many highly-skilled posts long into the future.
“The purchase of this prime site is a significant milestone in our goal to have a new nuclear power station generating electricity by around 2021 and a strong indication of the confidence of major players in the global energy industry to invest in West Cumbria.”
Roger Liddle, chairman of the county’s strategic economic development agency Cumbria Vision, said: “New nuclear power is a key to unlocking £140bn-worth of energy and related business opportunities in Cumbria, which in turn will create thousands of skilled and well-paid jobs and stimulate investment in projects to help make this area a superb place to live as well as work.
“The importance of the land sale cannot be overemphasised.
“Considering Cumbria did not feature in Britain’s plans for a nuclear renaissance two years ago, today’s achievement demonstrates how a wide range of partners can combine their efforts to achieve a common local and national goal.”
Copeland MP Jamie Reed said: “This is a landmark announcement – the most important for our part of the world for decades.
“It confirms West Cumbria’s place at the very heart of the UK nuclear industry and we can now look forward with optimism to the future we have worked so hard to create with the Energy Coast initiative.
“The development will have an incredibly positive impact upon this area; the career and life opportunities for thousands of west Cumbrians of all ages will be changed for the better.
“Every aspect of life will be touched by this: our schools, our health care services, our businesses, our town centres and our transport networks.
“A great deal of hard work still needs to be done, but this community’s best days now lie ahead.”
Energy and Climate Change Secretary Ed Miliband said: “These latest plans, together with the ambition of existing plans from two other operators, mean that new nuclear could power the equivalent of all 26 million homes in the UK.
“This sale is further proof that we’re giving industry the confidence to invest and that the UK is creating a successful low carbon economy.”
Peter Kane of GMB said: “This is the news we have been waiting for.
“We have worked for this for over 20 years and its great to see our efforts pay off like this.
“The GMB and all other site trade unions have worked tirelessly to try and achieve this and we’ve always backed Jamie Reed to deliver this with our support.”
Mike Rogan, of Unite, said: “Despite all of our work, many of us never thought that we would see this day – but its wonderful news.
“We made the case very strongly to Gordon Brown when he visited at our invitation recently and he was extremely supportive of what we wanted to achieve.”
Harry Knowles, chief executive of Furness Enterprise, said: “This could be a great boost for energy businesses in Furness as new supply chain opportunities emerge. Those firms that already service the Sellafield site will be able to double their market opportunity.”
First published at 13:12, Thursday, 29 October 2009
Published by http://www.nwemail.co.uk
Have your say
This is good news. Unless the problem with power generation is solved, this island will not be able to sustain a population of 60 million.
I hope the solution to the national grid transportation is going to be cables under the sea. Pylons are ugly and spoil the countryside.
If the problem of transportation to the grid has been solved then it should be go for the Energy Coast.
The Sellafield bid appears to be commercially driven, but yet again our MP is keeping mum, hoping to get the credit.
The people of Kirksanton and Braystones would like to know their future. In one breadth the MP and his supporters state Sellafield is the preferred site, but want to take the credit if other sites are approved.
Mr Reed likes to call himself Millom's MP when in Millom and Haverigg, but does not mention Millom when Sellafield is mentioned.
Don't forget Millom. When all this wealth and improvement comes to West Cumbria, Millomites don't want to be missed out. People can commute from here to work at Sellafield.
Rather than spoil the scenery, place the power station's reactors on one site, but please see that the benefits are distributed throughout West Cumbria.
I believe a company is interested in extending the wind farm provision from Haverigg. A consultation is due in November about using Crown land by the Prison. Now that there is a serious possibility of a nuclear power station at Sellafield, a wind farm at at Haverigg seems a viable option on a mixed energy coast. I expect it will be more acceptable to the residents of Kirksanton, than nuclear new build on greenfield sites.
This all sounds very grand but has anyone given any thought as to how people and vehicles will get to the site of the new Power Station. The A595 is certainly not suitable for the present level of traffic, let alone any increase. Surely the only real solution is a bridge from Barrow to Millom across the estuary. This would save millions of miles a year and make the journey quicker and safer for everyone. As for cost, surely the operators of Sellafiled would be willing to contribute - after all, they would benefit the most.
If you want a bridge, please sign the petition on the PM's website: http://petitions.number10.gov.uk/Barrowbridge/