CUMBRIA'S Moorside nuclear new build is likely to be thrown a multi-billion pound Korean lifeline.

It is expected that an announcement will be made soon by Korea Electric Power Corporation to say it is joining the consortium behind Europe’s largest new nuclear plant.

That agreement will begin the process of securing final approvals from nuclear regulators before a final decision is made early next year.

The Telegraph has reported that alongside the Korean announcement, energy secretary Greg Clark will reveal a number of government pledges for the nuclear industry.

Mr Clark held talks with South Korea’s trade minister last month and they signed a memorandum of understanding.

The memorandum means that the British and Korean governments have agreed to greater collaboration on nuclear developments, including construction and decommissioning.

A Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy spokesman said: “The secretary of state met with the South Korean minister to discuss civil nuclear collaboration.

"They signed a memorandum of the meeting which noted the potential for collaboration in new nuclear and decommissioning.

"The Korean minister also confirmed Korea Electric Power Corporation’s interest in the NuGen project."

State-run Kepco has revealed it is in “working-level” talks to buy a stake in NuGen – which plans to build three new reactions in west Cumbria to provide seven per cent of the UK’s electricity needs.

Toshiba, NuGen’s current owner, has been exploring a range of options to fund the project after its then subsidiary Westinghouse Electric – due to supply three AP1000 reactors to Moorside – filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the US, having overpaid by several billion dollars for another nuclear construction and services business.

Toshiba has been considering selling some or all of its shares in a development which could be worth around £15bn, and create 6,500 jobs during the peak construction stage and 1,000 when operational.