NuGen has today submitted an application for planning consent to commence a preliminary phase of temporary site investigation and characterisation works on the land it has an option to purchase for a new nuclear power station on the West Cumbrian coast.
The work, which NuGen hopes to begin in the last quarter of 2011, is the first step of the full site characterisation works, which are required to confirm the suitability of the site. The preliminary phase of temporary site investigation and characterisation works follow on from an extensive programme of desktop baseline studies.
The purpose of the temporary site investigation and characterisation works – which are being led by a consortium between IBERDROLA Ingeniería y construcción and Tractebel Engineering, part of the GDF SUEZ Group -is to investigate the geotechnical, geological, seismic, radiological and chemical conditions of the land and to start determining which part of the option land is most suitable for the development of a nuclear power station.
Alfio Vidal, Chief Nuclear Director of NuGen said: “We have submitted our planning application to Copeland Borough Council and we will only commence work once we have all of the necessary approvals in place.
“We remain absolutely committed to working in partnership with the local community and we have been talking to the tenants on the proposed site about the planned works and will also be ensuring that information is available to local residents and other interested stakeholders.
“The temporary site investigation and characterisation works are not expected to be highly visible and our contractors, who have yet to be appointed, will carry out the work with absolute care for the land and environment and in a way that minimises any disruption.”
Leader of Copeland Council, Elaine Woodburn, said: “We are pleased to be working with NuGen and it is great news that things are moving forward in this significant way. There is obviously a long road ahead but this is a solid start. We know Copeland and its people have the world class skills and experience to help new build become a successful reality, and we will continue to work towards that.”
All physical temporary site investigation and characterisation works are expected to be completed by 2013.