The council has approved a preliminary phase of temporary site investigation and characterisation works on the land NuGen has an option to purchase for a planned 3.6GW generating station.
The permission means site characterisation work can now commence on schedule. The purpose of the preliminary work is to investigate the geotechnical, geophysical, radiological, chemical and seismic conditions of the land and to determine which part of the available land will be most suitable for a nuclear power station.
Alfio Vidal, Chief Nuclear Director of NuGen said: “We are delighted by the positive decision from Copeland Borough Council to grant NuGen planning permission for early site works. This marks a significant step forward in our plans to develop a new nuclear power station.”
“We will use these investigations to determine which part of the land in our option is best-suited for the construction of a nuclear power station.”
Olivier Carret, Chief Operating Director for Nugen said: “We welcome this approval from the council. We will work hard to ensure the work is carried out with great care for the land and we will minimise impact on our neighbours.”
“We will continue to put local engagement at the forefront of what we do. NuGen is totally committed to working in partnership with the local community and other interested stakeholders to ensure they are kept fully informed of our plans.”
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 – are due to be completed during 2013. The work is not expected to be highly visible and will be carried out with absolute care for the land and environment and in a way that minimises any disruption to local residents.
NuGen, which has offices at Westlakes Science and Technology Park at Whitehaven in West Cumbria, is planning a series of stakeholder meetings starting with parish councils closest to the proposed development. The company has also produced an in-depth brochure on the scope and detail of the site characterisation work.