THREE nuclear giants have joined forces to show their commitment to the future of Cumbrian energy.

NuGen has signed a long-term co-operation agreement with Sellafield and the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) to support safe and compliant operations as Moorside moves forward.

The agreement coincides with NuGen's recent land deal with the NDA, which has declared the Moorside site as a suitable location to construct the three AP1000 reactors. 

All three parties have been working under temporary agreements for some time but this new arrangement is set to provide a firm and continuous commitment to all nuclear projects on the west coast and limit the impact on each other's operations. 

The co-operative agreement supports the requirement of both the NDA and Sellafield for the continued safe operations of existing and new facilities associated with the clean-up of the site. 

It also assists NuGen in delivering its preparation and investigation work during the development stage of the Moorside project and into the operational phase of the power station. 

The general principles of the agreement include ensuring co-operation and continued compliance with all regulatory requirement including Relevant Nuclear Regulations. 

It also aims to assist the safe and smooth operation of both sites.

The agreement will underpin the relationship between NuGen, Sellafield and the NDA to explore mutual benefits and opportunities in addition to supporting the safe and efficient execution of the other's requirements and operations. 

It will also strive to underpin the principle of mutual disclosure to mitigate against impacts on operations. 

Gary Shuttleworth, NuGen’s corporate affairs director, said: “This agreement formalises the way we have been working together for a number of years. 

"It establishes a structure for open and timely dialogue and encourages regular engagement to support each other to deliver our goals”.

Rory O’Neill, director of stakeholder relations at Sellafield, said: “We are delighted to sign the co-operation agreement with NuGen and the NDA.

“Nuclear safety is the number one priority for all of us and this agreement will ensure the decommissioning of the Sellafield site and the development of Moorside will continue to move forward with the highest standards of radiological safety, conventional health and safety and protection of the environment as possible.”