The fight to secure Moorside is ramping up as Cumbria’s MPs plan to hold further meetings with the Minister for Energy next week.
On Wednesday, Trudy Harrison MP, John Stevenson MP and Barrow in Furness MP, John Woodcock will sit down with the Minister for Energy, Richard Harrington MP to continue discussions after Toshiba announced last Thursday that it was winding up NuGen.
Today, Mrs Harrison met with CGN’s Chief Operating Officer, Robert Davies, the state backed firm responsible for much of China’s expansion in nuclear reactors.
Mrs Harrison, said: “Following my meeting in Parliament with CGN’s Chief Operating Officer, Robert Davies, I will be putting forward a proposal during my forthcoming meeting with Cumbrian Parliamentary colleagues, John Stevenson and John Woodcock MP.
“Putting forward a proposal with financial investment and significant experience in the nuclear new build market is essential.
“CGN are looking to build a long term relationship and industrial partnership with the UK. Sadly, due to decisions taken ten years ago to sell off the only British Nuclear New Build company we had, Westinghouse, the UK now lacks the major infrastructure but there is no denying we have the skills and knowledge in abundance.”
The meeting followed a visit to Taishan in China with CGN last week.
Mrs Harrison, continued: “A UK-China Industrial Partnership in civil nuclear may not be the only proposal, along with my Cumbrian colleagues we will remind the Minister for Nuclear of the dire consequences of losing Moorside.
“Developing a fleet pipeline will reduce the cost of new nuclear and would advance the aims of Government’s Nuclear Sector Deal.”
Keeping up the pressure, Mrs Harrison urged the Secretary of State for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy to ‘step in’ and ‘recognise the overwhelming need for Moorside’ during an Urgent Question on Monday following Toshiba’s announcement.
Barrow MP, John Woodcock, said: “It is vital we get a pledge from the energy minister to work pro-actively with us on securing an alternative for Moorside that brings the jobs our area will urgently need.
“The resigned attitude during our urgent question in the House of Commons was totally unacceptable – the government needs to make clear it is a strategic priority to bring new civil nuclear to West Cumbria to meet future energy demands and maintain our extraordinary skills base that serves the nation.”
Carlisle MP John Stevenson, added: “The decision by Toshiba to wind up NuGen is hugely disappointing.
“I will be meeting Richard Harrington along with Trudy to ensure there is a way forward, and that Cumbria will be home to a new nuclear build in the future.”