Urenco Cheshire, P, Google Earth

Urenco in Capenhurst, Cheshire, has been chosen by the UK government to develop a uranium facility. Credit: Google Earth

Cheshire to host £200m uranium facility

Urenco in Capenhurst has been awarded £196m by the UK government to develop facilities capable of producing fuel by 2031.

Around 400 jobs will be created at the Capenhurst facility, subject to the scheme gaining the necessary approvals. Urenco, which is part owned by the UK government, would co-fund the facility.

The funding is part of a £300 million high-assay, low-enriched uranium programme announced earlier this year. The UK is seeking to be the first European country to produce advanced nuclear fuel for power plants at home and abroad, leading to less reliance on Russia for energy.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, said: “The wider future of British nuclear remains a critical national endeavour –  guaranteeing nuclear and energy security, and reducing energy bills for Brits.”

Secretary of state for energy security and net zero  Claire Coutinho, said: “Backing Urenco to build a uranium enrichment plant here in the UK will mean we are the first European nation outside Russia to produce advanced nuclear fuel.

“This will support hundreds of new jobs, bring investment for the people in Cheshire, and is a huge win for energy security at home and abroad.”

Urenco’s facility will have the capacity to produce up to 10 tonnes of HALEU per year by 2031, according to the government.

Boris Schucht, chief executive of Urenco, said: “The responsibility the nuclear industry has to help governments and customers to achieve climate change and energy security goals is clear.

“We welcome this government investment, which will help accelerate the development of a civil HALEU commercial market and in turn the development of the next generation of nuclear power plants.

“These plants will have even higher safety standards and lend themselves to quicker licensing and construction processes.”

Urenco will operate securely under inter-governmental treaties to ensure the peaceful use and safeguarding of nuclear technology, the government says.

Zara Hodgson, director of the Dalton Nuclear Institute, said: “This is the biggest single investment in UK nuclear fuel production capability in decades, and it is especially welcome as it will accelerate the supply of the next generation of fuels that are vital for this new net zero nuclear era.

“Urenco Capenhurst’s HALEU Enrichment capability will help hugely to unlock the deliverability of advanced nuclear projects, opening the door to sustainable  electricity and heat for industries from nuclear, across the UK and overseas.”

Tom Greatrex, chief executive of the Nuclear Industry Association added: “Urenco at Capenhurst is at the very forefront of the UK’s capability, with this new facility bringing opportunities for the supply chain, new jobs and investment in the North West of England.”

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Although capenhurst in on the edge of Cheshire, it really is serviced in employment terms but the Liverpool City Region, most of its workforce will live there . Also it’s fits well will the growing scientific cluster in the city region eg Daresbury, lever brothers and the Liverpool university etc . Positive news

By George

Quite alarming. What are the safety and health consequences of this for local residents?

By Anonymous

We’re in Cheshire. Get over it.

By Anonymous

What about the people who live in this area. No one has told them anything about this production of uranium. Shame on urenco and the government.

By Anonymous

Go on then I’ll buy it. What’s HALEU ???

By Anonymous

    high-assay, low-enriched uranium

    By Julia Hatmaker

Looking at the ballooning costs of Hinkley Point C and the massive excess of wind and solar available on the planet in addition to growing battery storage it’s possible by 2031 that nuclear energy will be a thing of the past.

By Dan

Excellent news.. the mindset of self reliance has been missing for decades leaving the UK at the hands of other nations. And to other residents asking why they weren’t consulted? What do you think they have been doing for the last 50 years? And on a wider point, what other facilities around the region are doing. What do you think Daresbury Labs does, never mind chemical producers etc. It seems like ignorance is (after all) bliss.. Until your electricity goes off when the sun goes down!


Absolute joke,don’t need this fuel type at all,we are a island with seas all around it that has loads of potential for clean hydro power!! As usual government looking for cheapest option!! With probably no planning for the waste from this future plant, absolute money stealing torries again

By Anonymous

Why don’t they build these kind of facilities down south and not on our doorstep

By Anonymous

From what I understood Capenhurst has been involved in uranium enrichment since the1950’s first for military and then for civilian purposes as BNFL (and then with the NDA and Urenco) so its nothing new for this location and has to happen somewhere if there is to be a nuclear industry and a balanced energy provision/security.

By Ann Field

Not heard a word about this before and live in the area. How can they do this without consultation with local residents? Health concerns. Others I don’t suppose will be concerned as it’s not on their doorstep. Notice they put it up north for us the be the guinea pigs, wouldn’t happen down south

By Anonymous

Horrified. As a local resident I am now worried sick. Hadn’t heard anything about this distressing development. Why the north west?

By Anonymous

This site is in the middle of a highly densely populated are, how can you justify this plant to produce this highly dangerous material which already hold multiple decommissioned nuclear reactors from about 21 nuclear submarines which will be a target of any future conflict of rogue states.

By Anonymous

Great idea

By Anonymous

Obviously time to move house – if we can sell ours!

By Anonymous

Why are these facilities like nuclear and other dangerous facilities put well away from London

By Anonymous

Highly dangerous, not wanted here, we have enough rubbish in this area at Ellesmere Port, Widnes, Runcorn and the North West.

By Anonymous

Another contamination going on around Cheshire.. And yet again have no say..

By Currie

They say it is clean energy but they don’t tell you how much waste is generated and also how long it has to be buried for and where the waste will go. Its shocking.
How Redrow were able to build so close to this site is utterly astonishing.
When PHE take their readings in different locations around this site, do they let the public know?

By Anonymous

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