Kepco takes lead to buy Toshiba UK nuclear unit NuGen

South Korea's sole utility provider has been selected as the preferred bidder for the Moorside nuclear power plant project in the United Kingdom, a source familiar with the matter told The Korea Herald on December 6.

Kepco said it has several months to negotiate the deal, which it seeks to conclude as early as the first half of 2018. KEPCO's win occurs as South Korea, the world's fifth-biggest nuclear power user, plans to lower its dependence on nuclear power at home mainly due to safety concerns, while continuing its nuclear export drive overseas.

Toshiba Corp., which has a 60 percent stake in the NuGen consortium in charge of building the nuclear power plant in Cumbria, northwest England, plans to announce soon that KEPCO has become the preferred bidder, according to industry insiders, who wanted to remain anonymous.

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KEPCO plans to use its own April 1400 reactor design, the same that was used in a massive project Korea won in the UAE. Toshiba's Westinghouse was initially expected to provide the reactor technology which already has GDA approval. China General Nuclear Power had also expressed interest in bidding for the deal.

The official announcement is expected later this week in conjunction with a nuclear conference in Britain.

The MP for Copeland has told Ministers that local benefit must be prioritised following the news that a South Korean energy company is to take over NuGen, the power plant developer. The construction of the reactors with a total capacity of approximately 3 GW is scheduled to be completed in 2030.

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