A peer has urged the government to come up with new funding methods for nuclear new builds, including the county's proposed £10bn Moorside development.

Lord Hutton of Furness - a former MP for Barrow who was Defence Secretary under Tony Blair and is now chairman of trade body the Nuclear Industry Association - said it was important to look at the financial models for such projects.

He made the comments at a conference on nuclear new builds, which will discuss plans for a development at Moorside, near Sellafield, tomorrow.

NuGen, the company behind the west Cumbrian project, Westinghouse, which is set to supply the three AP1000 reactors it will use, and Korea Electric Power Corporation (Kepco), which have expressed an interest in buying into the scheme, are all due to give presentations at the event in London, which has been organised by the NIA.

They come following the publication last week of a report into the funding of the Hinkley Point nuclear new build in Somerset by the National Audit office, which described the government's deal for the scheme as "risky and expensive". Hinkley Point is being built by EDF, with a stake from Chinese state-owned investor CGN.

Lord Hutton said: “And what the [NAO ] report also said – and this is where I think we as an industry need to continue to work with government to help them understand this – is that with the construction risk being with the developer, then the higher cost of capital impacts upon the final strike price.

“While the strike price is much lower than for large-scale low carbon power agreed at the same time, and is lower than the average of all projects having received a contract for difference, the trajectory for future projects needs to be downwards.

“The NAO report looked at a number of other large and strategically significant infrastructure projects under development in the UK, and different financial models being used."

The experience of other large infrastructure projects should be taken into account.

“While there may not be a precise read-across from HS2 or the Thames Tideway to new power stations, the high-level analysis of the impact on a strike price, is worthy of further consideration," Lord Hutton added.

“For some time now, the NIA with our members have been making the case to government that, working within the current policy framework, there is scope for different financial models that can reduce the contribution through consumer bills.

“The NAO report confirms that reality and as we move beyond the first project for a generation, then it is right the government give those potential alternative approaches to securing much-needed, large scale, low carbon power due consideration.”