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The Moorside project

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We are reviewing proposals to build a new nuclear power station, called the Moorside project to the north of the current Sellafield site.

Why a new power station?

The company developing this project is NuGeneration Ltd (NuGen). They say:

 “The UK faces a significant energy challenge; securing future energy supplies as existing nuclear and fossil fuel power stations close, as energy demand rises and as the UK continues to strive to achieve targeted reductions of CO2 emissions.

Nuclear energy is an existing technology that can be used to produce a large amount of electricity safely and without emitting CO2 at point of generation.

Investments in energy technologies made now will shape the energy landscape for the next 50 years or more. NuGen believes that nuclear energy has an important role to play in helping the UK to meet its energy challenges and it must continue to be part of a balanced energy mix. In response, we are developing plans to build up to 3.6Gigawatt of new nuclear capacity in West Cumbria.”



For the local economy         

  • creating an estimated 5000 new jobs during construction and approximately 600 jobs during operation.
  • creating training and apprenticeship opportunities
  • building on the skills and experience of existing local workforce
  • pioneering new technology
  • using local supply chain – around 50 businesses in Copeland and a further 120 in Cumbria currently supply Sellafield with products and services

For the environment

  • nuclear energy is a vital part of the energy mix that will help the UK provided energy with much lower carbon emissions than fossil fuel energy power plants.
  • the landscaping and mitigation techniques incorporated in the development and operation of a new nuclear plant can potentially provide excellent habitat for wildlife and plants
  • lower carbon dioxide (and other greenhouse gases) released into the atmosphere in power generation

For the community

  • we are working with developers to ensure that the development creates a positive legacy through renewing and supporting the housing market in the area
  • ensuring that the other facilities are developed or restored post construction to leave a positive legacy on the local environment for the local community
  • an improvement in road, rail, port and transport infrastructure in the region.

Who’s involved?

The proposed site is within the boundary of Copeland Borough. However, it is designated a nationally significant infrastructure project (NSIP) that affects the whole of the UK.  Copeland Borough Council cannot make final decisions about NSIPs. The final decision lies at government level with the Planning Inspectorate.

Although we are not the deciding body, we are working closely with NuGen to:

  • help them consult people in the local community and listen to their views
  • assess the infrastructure and human resources that will be needed to ensure that machinery and people can get to the site to build the new power station safely
  • ensure long-lasting benefits for the local community by providing jobs, training and upgrading existing infrastructure
  • make sure that, where possible, they use the local supply chain for jobs, skills and services
  • make sure that, where relevant, all development is in keeping with our local policies
  • set up a fund to support community projects within Copeland Borough for the benefit of all the community.

How’s it going?

In June 2011 the Government confirmed that the Moorside site was a suitable location for a new nuclear power station.

We have signed a planning performance agreement (PPA)with NuGen. We promise to dedicate our employees’ time and skills to the project and they promise to fund their time and any other expenses arising.

NuGen are now preparing detailed plans for developing the site so that they can apply for a development consent order (DCO)  from the Planning Inspectorate. 

Before they award the DCO, the Planning Inspectorate will ask us how well NuGen has discussed the proposed development with the local community.

Find out more


Map of the proposed site

NuGen FAQs

Nuclear Industry Association briefing

Related documents

This letter discusses the first phase of activity on the site.

This letter discusses the request to discharge condition 9 of planning permission

This planning statement has been prepared in support of the planning application submitted on behalf of NuGeneration Ltd.

This is a record of the correspondence between NuGen and Copeland Borough Council.

Provided here is miscellaneous documents regardnig The Moorside Project.

Provided here are the Archive Plans for the Moorside project