Chinese nuclear giant mulls bid for Toshiba's £15bn Cumbrian NuGen plant


The NuGen nuclear reactor will be located in Cumbria (Source: Getty)

A Chinese nuclear giant is considering a bid for the troubled £15bn NuGen nuclear plant on the Cumbrian coast that is owned by Toshiba, according to reports.

China General Nuclear Power Corporation (CGN) has fingers in a number of UK nuclear pies, including a 33 per cent holding in the consortium building Hinkley Point C in Somerset and a 20 per cent stake in a project at Sizewell, Suffolk, and it will eventually own 66.5 per cent of a plant at Bradwell, Essex, where it will install its HPR1000 reactor.

The Sunday Times reported CGN was eyeing up the Cumbrian new build as it looks to showcase its reactor technology in the UK before exporting it more widely around the world.

The reactor is currently under review by Britain's nuclear watchdog, the Office for Nuclear Regulation, in a process that tends to take several years.

NuGen's planned nuclear reactor will have a gross capacity of 3.8 gigawatts, enough to power up to 6m homes in the UK, and it is a vital piece of the UK's future energy mix. However, the project is being reviewed after Westinghouse, Toshiba's nuclear arm, went bankrupt earlier this year, causing France's Engie to back out, selling its 40 per cent stake to Toshiba.

Other bidders have expressed interest in the site, including South Korea's Kepco and China's State Nuclear Power Technology Corporation.

CGN did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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