LONDON May 1 Japan's Toshiba and
France's GDF Suez have reached an agreement on key
terms with Britain's Nuclear Decommissioning Authority to manage
the land at Sellafield where the companies plan to build three
new nuclear reactors.
The agreement marks an important step in Britain's bid to
construct a new generation of nuclear plants and shows Toshiba's
commitment to its British joint venture which it bought into by
taking over Iberdrola's stake only four months ago.
"The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority has reached an
agreement with Toshiba and its partner GDF Suez on the key
commercial terms of an updated option agreement for land in the
NDA's ownership at Moorside near Sellafield," the government
body said in a statement.
The option agreement on the nuclear site, which the joint
venture bought in 2009 for 19.5 million pounds, was due to
expire soon and the government had considered re-opening the
site for auction due to slow progress before Toshiba got
The NuGen joint venture plans to start operating its first
new nuclear reactor at the Moorside site in 2024 and estimates
21,000 people will be directly and indirectly employed during
the plant's construction phase.
Britain's existing nuclear power plants are ageing and in
need of replacement.
Next to NuGen, two other groups, France's EDF
together with French partner Areva and Japan's
Hitachi, have also announced nuclear new build
With two Japanese companies planning to build new nuclear
plants in Britain, Japan is a vital nuclear partner for Britain.
"The (British) Prime Minister ... welcomed the progress made
on investment into a new nuclear power station at Moorside,"
David Cameron's office said following his meeting with Japanese
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in London.
(Reporting by Karolin Schaps; Editing by Mark Potter)