Supporters of the construction of new nuclear power stations at Kirksanton and Braystones, the two West Cumbrian sites nominated earlier this year by German company RWE, could be in for a major disappointment.
As reported by Reuters today (10th June), RWE has turned down the chance to buy land suitable for new build at Dungeness in Kent and Heysham in Lancashire on the basis that “we have set targets for ourselves of up to 6 Gigawatts and we have the sites that will deliver us that capacity. We are happy with where we are “. Expressions of interest in buying the land had been invited by France’s EDF whose successful takeover of British Energy for £12.5Bn was completed last year. As part of the deal, EDF was required to make some land available to its nuclear rivals.
CORE spokesman Martin Forwood said: The RWE statement strongly infers that the sites at Wylfa on Anglesey and Oldbury in the south-west, which it successfully purchased under the NDA’s auction process in April, will host its 6 Gigawatts worth of new reactors – and not the West Cumbrian sites for which it had only secured options to purchase.
It remains to be seen however whether Kirksanton and Braystones remain as potential sites when the Government, having reviewed public comments submitted on the originally nominated sites, publishes its list of sites assessed as suitable for new build in August.
CORE believes both sites were wholly unsuitable and lacked any merit whatsoever for new build. A reprieve for the two coastal sites, either through RWE abandonment or Government rejection as potential nuclear sites, will be a hugely positive result for West Cumbria’s future, boosting the prospect of diversifying the local economy away from its current dependence on the nuclear industry.