Staff culled at Toshiba’s Moorside nuclear site

Over half the workforce at the embattled Moorside nuclear site are to be made redundant as Toshiba struggles to sell the planned ?15bn project.
The company has decided that its 100 strong team of staff and contractors working for the NuGen business will be slashed to just 40 people in a phased reduction of the workforce as unions warn the project is on the brink of collapse.
The skeleton team left behind will focus on finding a buyer for NuGen, which was set up as a consortium to develop Europe’s largest new nuclear power plant but is now solely owned by Toshiba.
The staff cull has emerged after the Japanese conglomerate failed to clinch a deal with Korea Electric Power Corporation (Kepco) over the summer.
The Korean energy giant won out over rival Chinese bidders in the battle to snap up Britain’s troubled nuclear project.
Staff culled at Toshiba’s Moorside nuclear site

The planned Moorside nuclear project

The talks were seen as a multi-billion pound lifeline for Toshiba, which was left financially battered last year by the collapse of its Westinghouse nuclear business in the US and was expected to build the Moorside reactor.
In the wake of the Westinghouse bankruptcy Toshiba was left scrambling to find new project partners after French energy giant Engie abandoned its stake in NuGen.
“For over a year, Toshiba has pursued a sale of NuGen to Kepco,” said a spokesman for the company. “Due to the prolonged time it has taken reach a conclusion, NuGen has undertaken a review of its size and scale.”
Kepco confirmed in late July that it lost its status as the ‘preferred bidder’ for the Moorside project as Toshiba kicked off a review of the business, and the future of its 100 staff.
Britain's (surprisingly beautiful) nuclear power stations
Justin Bowden, of trade union GMB, said: “The looming collapse of this vital energy project has been depressingly predictable for months.”
He called on Government to take a stake in Moorside, to secure the project's future and reduce the overall cost of the scheme, which will ultimately be paid for by consumers through their bills.
The Government is planning to overhaul the way it supports new nuclear power projects after furious criticism of its deal with EDF to build the Hinkley Point C nuclear plant in Somerset.
Under the new proposals, known as a regulated asset base (RAB) model, developers could be in line for similar terms as those offered to companies building major multi-billion pound water infrastructure developments.
But critics claim the Government must go a step further by taking a stake in the project directly.
“Direct public funding of the construction does away with the nonsensical pretence that this is some other country or company’s responsibility,” said Mr Bowden.
"It's time to say 'enough is enough',” he added.
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