Agencies back NDA over quick sale of Sellafield land

Michael Hunt

Cumbria Vision and West Cumbria Vision are pushing for a new nuclear power station to be built on land adjacent to Sellafield by the end of the year to enable electricity to be generated by 2025.

The two regeneration agencies welcomed the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority's pledge to sell the site by the end of 2009 and are now hoping for a quick sale.

The NDA has announced the start of the process to dispose of the land by inviting expressions of interest from potential bidders.

Rosie Mathisen, energy opportunities director at West Cumbria Vision, said: "West Cumbria Vision and partners are pushing for the earliest possible build on the site adjacent to Sellafield. If we are to supply electricity to the National Grid by 2025 we need to address a large number of issues, in particular securing an improved grid connection and ensuring the site has the right infrastructure links. Obviously the new owner would have a key role to play in addressing these challenges so it is important we have them on board as soon as possible so we can push ahead with the vital work ahead."

The 250 hectare site to the north of Sellafield has been nominated as a potential site for nuclear new build under the Government's Strategic Siting Assessment process.

The nomination was prepared by the Nuclear New Build Nomination team, which is led by West Cumbria Vision, and has been submitted to the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority.

It was the only nomination out of the eleven submitted to the Department for Energy and Climate Change which was prepared by an area partnership rather than a utility company.

Partners have been working for almost two years on the nuclear new build nomination, ensuring the NDA site meets criteria set out by Government and generating market interest among utility companies.

The nomination was submitted on 31 March and is currently being considered by the Department for Energy and Climate Change.

A full publication consultation on the nomination, along with others submitted, is expected to take place in the winter this year.

RWE npower has also submitted two sites in West Cumbria through the Strategic Siting Assessment process including one at Braystones near Sellafield and the other at Kirksanton near Millom.

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