Energy Solutions and Toshiba-Westinghouse consortium nuclear bid

Monday, April 28, 2008

An American-Japanese consortium is bidding to construct two new nuclear power stations at sites in Gloucestershire and Essex as the race to build a new generation of reactors intensifies.

Energy Solutions, a nuclear services firm based in Salt Lake City, Utah, is working on the plans with Toshiba-Westinghouse, a supplier of reactor technology. They are already collaborating on a proposed new nuclear station at Wylfa in Anglesey, North Wales.

The Times has learnt that the consortium has tabled a bid to build and operate a reactor at Bradwell in Essex and one at Oldbury in Gloucesterhire.

All three sites are on land owned by the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA), the government agency responsible for cleaning up Britain's existing nuclear facilities, and are seen as the most attractive NDA-owned sites for new nuclear power stations.

The group has held talks with British and European utilities, who could be potential partners in the new reactors, which the Government estimates will cost about £2.8 billion each to build.

The site at Bradwell covers 20 hectares and its nuclear power station was retired from service in 2002. The Oldbury site covers more than 51 hectares and still has an operating nuclear reactor, which is due to be retired from service this year.

News of the consortium's interest comes ahead of a mid-May deadline for bids for British Energy, which owns eight other nuclear sites across the UK, including several that are considered very attractive for new stations - Sizewell, Dungeness and Hinkley Point.

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