Moorside reactor firm: ‘We’re still in business’

Executives of the troubled company due to produce the reactors for Cumbria’s proposed nuclear new build has insisted it is very much still in business.

Westinghouse Electric is due to produce three AP1000 models for the proposed power plant at Moorside, near Sellafield.

The firm though has hit the headlines after then parent company Toshiba declared that it had overpaid, by several billion dollars, another nuclear services business. This has been the main cause of Toshiba’s current financial problems.

Westinghouse, once part of BNFL, is based in Pittsburgh and is no longer considered part of Toshiba after it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the USA.

This has led to concerns about how it may affect the plans for the £11bn Cumbrian development.

Two of its executives Mick Gornall, managing director of the UK business, and Tom Weir, vice-president of new plant project development, who is based in the USA, both spoke at a conference on nuclear new builds today.

Mr Gornell said: “Let me assure you that Westinghouse is very much in business. We intend to go on working to meet our customers’ needs.”

The reactors at Moorside are three of eight being produced by Westinghouse for nuclear developments around the world. These can go from order to operation in 48 months.

Mr Gornell added: “We have invested heavily in our technology and we are pleased to offer it to the UK.”

Mr Weir said: “The projects continue as we get through the process for Chapter 11.”

He also thanked Tom Samson, of NuGen, the company behind Moorside, for “developing the details” of the project with him.

South Korean firm Kepco has announced it wants to invest in Moorside. It uses a different reactor, of its own design and manufacture.

Neither man commented on how this investment might affect Westinghiouse.