Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Nuclear Bids Begin as 11 New Sites Are Shortlisted

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Nuclear Bids Begin as 11 New Sites Are Shortlisted

Article excerpt


MONTHS -- possibly years -- of wrangling kicked off today as the Government shortlisted 11 sites for the construction of new nuclear power stations.

Three of the sites which appear likely to receive Government backing are in the South-East -- next to existing nuclear stations at Dungeness in Kent, Bradwell in Essex and Sizewell in Suffolk.

Two more, highly controversially, are being proposed on greenfield sites in Cumbria. The existing nuclear installation at Sellafield is also a candidate for new build.

Today's announcement is the belated start of a process of commissioning new nuclear power stations.

None of the plants is likely to be ready before 2018 but their construction is widely regarded as crucial because of the number of UK electricity generators which will be closed because of age or pollution over the next decade.

The shortlist also confirms who the major players of the new nuclear age are likely to be. While it is hoped the construction of as many as eight new nuclear power stations will create thousands of jobs in the UK, none of the operators is likely to be British.

French state-owned EDF -- which last year bought the eight-strong fleet of nuclear generators run by British Energy -- has nominated five sites, including Sizewell and Dungeness. It has also admitted interest in building a plant at Bradwell where it already owns land. The Essex village is one of three state-owned sites that the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority is selling in an eBay-style auction to the highest bidders. And the German power giants E.On and RWE npower -- which have formed a consortium -- have nominated the two other sites the NDA is auctioning: Oldbury in Gloucestershire and Wylfa on Anglesey.

The RWE/E.On consortium is leading the going on Oldbury and Wylfa in a bidding war against including EDF, the Scandinavian group Vattenfall and a consortium of Iberdrola of Spain and GDF Suez of France.

Nine of the nominated sites are adjacent to existing nuclear installations but RWE npower has submitted two applications for sites on virgin Cumbrian farmland, one at Kirksanton, close to the home of the Cumberland sausage, and another at Braystones, north of Sellafield. …

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