COPELAND’s nuclear boss has said that “the future looks rosy” for new nuclear in Copeland as talks progress on Small Modular Reactors.

Councillor David Moore, Copeland Council’s portfolio holder for nuclear and commercial services, gave an update on efforts to bring new nuclear to the area at a meeting last week.

It followed the announcement that Carlisle has been shortlisted with the contenders to host a factory for Rolls Royce producing the parts for their Small Modular Reactors (SMR).

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Cllr Jackie Bowman asked what that means for Copeland’s ambitions to house the completed power plant on land owned by the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority.

She said: “I read recently that Carlisle’s got the manufacturing site so how positive is that for us to get this Rolls Royce site up?”

Cllr Moore said: “We haven’t got the manufacturing yet at Carlisle but it’s a site that’s been identified in the process with six other sites around the country. I think it is positive.

“We’re talking about the construction of SMR parts we’re not talking small parts, we’re talking large modular constructions. We do have companies across West Cumbria that are already involved in the nuclear industry and play a part.

“If it was to come to Kingmoor Park and maybe other sites come forward, for our supply chain I think that would be good news. We’ve got people like Forth Engineering already doing that type of work for the nuclear industry so I think that’s really positive.”

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Progress is also being within Copeland to bring the Rolls Royce plant to land neighbouring Sellafield, to produce a portion of the decommissioning site’s energy.

Cllr Moore said: “We’ve now got a memorandum of agreement between Sellafield, NDA and Rolls Royce to attempt to bring the first-of-a-kind SMR to the Sellafield site, that will be on land possibly to the south of site, around the Fellside area.

“There’s now a real commitment within the NDA and Sellafield that they want to bring the SMR in. I think that has really lifted the profile we’ve got because now we’ve got, not only a development but we’ve got a customer.

“Sellafield will use two thirds of the energy it produces for the site itself which would cut away from using gas and the very un-green methods they have now currently for the site.”

Cllr Bowman queried the mention of Fellside, instead of Moorside which has been the focus of intentions in recent years.

Cllr Moore said: “Would we also consider SMRs on the Moorside site? Absolutely, should we be successful in the fusion bid, we know to start the fusion process, you need quite a large amount of electricity. So I think the future looks rosy.”

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