Toshiba withdraws from planned United Kingdom nuclear plant

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The firm say it will start the wind-up process in January. It is also devastating for the employees of NuGen who have worked so hard for the past decade to deliver a new nuclear project which would have delivered energy for generations to come.

Japanese conglomerate Toshiba announced Thursday it will no longer build a nuclear power plant on the West Cumbria coast in northwest England, and will liquidate its United Kingdom nuclear arm NuGen, Kallanish Energy reports.

A Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy spokesperson said: "We understand that Toshiba have faced a hard decision in ending their involvement in new nuclear projects outside of Japan in light of their well-known financial challenges".

Plans to build a new nuclear power station in the United Kingdom, creating over 20,000 jobs, have collapsed after Toshiba said it was pulling out of the project.

Mr Samson said the late introduction of a new and underdeveloped profit model for the project by the Government, mid negotiation with potential buyer Kepco, was one of the reasons why the project had failed to progress.

Based at the Moorside site in Cumbria UK, the suspension of the project could be problematic for the British administration, especially considering the uncertain process of Brexit, according to local media.

"However, notwithstanding negotiations with multiple companies, Toshiba is unable to anticipate to complete the sale of NuGen during financial year 2018 to March 2019. It is therefore vital the government facilitates the build of new nuclear on the site for the sake of the energy security of the United Kingdom and for the local economy in Cumbria".

In good news for shareholders, Toshiba plans to buy back up to 40% of its own shares as part of a long-term goal of increasing dividends.

However, its future has been hanging in the balance since the summer after the Japanese giant stripped state-owned Korean utility Kepco of "preferred bidder" status because of the "prolonged time" it was taking to seal a deal.

Toshiba had also held talks about selling the project with Canada's Brookfield Asset Management but they also fell through, a source told Reuters last month.

"Greenpeace UK executive director John Sauven said: "The end of the Moorside plan represents a failure of the Government's nuclear gamble".

The move resulted in Engine's withdrawal and led Toshiba to look for buyer for NuGen.

Unions and the Labour Party attacked the Government for not intervening to ensure the project went ahead, but anti-nuclear campaigners welcomed the decision, saying it proved nuclear power was not economically viable.

General union GMB has called for an urgent rethink and wants the government to build a small modular nuclear reactor at the site.

"Relying in this way on foreign companies for our country's essential energy needs was always irresponsible", said its national officer Justin Bowden.

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