Japan’s Toshiba slashes 7,000 jobs

Toshiba scraps £15bn Moorside nuclear power station plan

A statement from the Japanese engineering giant said: "After considering the additional costs entailed in continuing to operate NuGen, Toshiba recognises that the economically rational decision is to withdraw from the United Kingdom nuclear power plant construction project, and has resolved to take steps to wind-up NuGen".

She added: "As Toshiba has opted to pull the plug on this project then the government must step in".

The firm say it will start the wind-up process in January.

In a blow to the government's nuclear strategy, Toshiba, the Japanese conglomerate, said that it had chose to shut down its Nugen subsidiary, which was developing the Moorside project near Sellafield.

Toshiba's statement yesterday said: "Toshiba recognises that the economically rational decision is to withdraw from the United Kingdom nuclear power plant construction project, and has resolved to take steps to wind up NuGen". However, notwithstanding negotiations with multiple companies, Toshiba is unable to anticipate to complete the sale of NuGen during FY2018, to March 31, 2019.

Praising the dedication of NuGen staff and the commitment from Toshiba, Mr Samson said: "The most significant aspect of my disappointment is related to the impact this will have on Cumbria".

The announcement continued: "Unfortunately, it has not been possible to successfully conclude those negotiations".

The Japanese firm had been trying to sell NuGen, with the United Kingdom government also seeking new investors, but Toshiba admitted defeat on Thursday.

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"It is now for the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority as the owner of the site and the government to determine its future".

Sue Ferns, senior deputy general secretary of scientists' union Prospect, called for state intervention to save the scheme, saying the future of the United Kingdom nuclear industry was at stake. It is also devastating for the employees of NuGen who have worked so hard for the past decade to deliver a new nuclear project which would have delivered energy for generations to come.

Korea Electric Power Corporation had been earmarked as the preferred bidder to takeover but no deal has reached.

Toshiba had also held talks about selling the project with Canada's Brookfield Asset Management but they also fell through, a source told Reuters last month.

The decision has left the £15bn Moorside power station plans in tatters, taking with it the potential for thousands of jobs, millions of pounds in new investment and a seven per cent contribution to the nation's energy needs.

United Kingdom employment unions Unite and GMB called on the British government to step in to help save the Moorside project which NuGen said would create tens of thousands of direct and indirect jobs in the local area.

Justin Bowden, national secretary of the GMB union, said: "Relying in this way on foreign companies for our country's essential energy needs was always irresponsible".



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