Fears for UK nuclear strategy as Toshiba quits £15bn plant

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Ministers say nuclear plants are needed as old reactors and coal plants close Ministers say nuclear plants are needed as old reactors and coal plants closeLEE JIN-MAN/AP

Plans to build a £15 billion nuclear power plant in Cumbria have collapsed, with developers blaming uncertainty over UK energy policy.

In a blow to the government’s nuclear strategy, Toshiba, the Japanese conglomerate, said that it had decided to shut down its Nugen subsidiary, which was developing the Moorside project near Sellafield.

Nugen’s chief executive, Tom Samson, said the company had been unable to find a buyer for the project because there was too much “policy and legislative risk” as the government reviews the financial support on offer for nuclear plants.

The proposed plant had been expected to start operating by the mid-2020s and to generate more than three gigawatts of electricity — enough to meet about 7 per cent of the UK’s needs. Estimates suggested…

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