Westinghouse executive Sandy Rupprecht has been named chief executive of Nu-Gen after his parent company Toshiba confirmed it has completed its buy-in to the UK nuclear new-build venture.

The company announced in January 2014 its intention to buy the stake of Spanish utility Iberdrola and some of the stake of GDF Suez in the venture to build new nuclear power plants near Sellafield.

Rupprecht, formerly Westinghouse’s senior vice president for AP1000 business devlepment, will lead a new management team. His work will concentrate on immediate project milestones such as site assessments, site layout and recruitment of nuclear professionals to the project, according to a press release. A public consultation on the plans will take place in 2015, it said.

The venture is aiming for commercial operation of the first AP1000 at Moorside in 2024 at a site next to Sellafield, with two more planned to start up by 2026. The venture confirmed it recently negotiated to extend its option on the land.

The Westinghouse AP1000 reactor completed the fourth stage of the UK generic design assessment process in 2011 with 51 issues outstanding before approval can be given by the nuclear regulator and the Environment Agency.

In a quarterly update to March 2014 issued in late June, the regulator said that it had a ‘preliminary discussion’ with Westinghouse in February about finishing the licensing work, including costs, project planning and project agreements.

It said: "The 51 issues requiring resolution span 13 of the GDA assessment areas, and are technically challenging. Therefore we expect the completion of the GDA for the AP1000 reactor design to take a number of years."