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Friday, 19 September 2014

NDA chief welcomes publication of critical Sellafield report

To read the report in full click here 

Nuclear Decommissioning Authority chief executive John Clarke has welcomed the publication of a critical report by MPs which warns that the cost of cleaning up Sellafield has spiralled to over £67 billion.

Mr Clarke welcomed the report, saying the MPs’ visit to Sellafield in November allowed them to see the scale of the challenge one of the world’s “most complex nuclear sites,” with some of buildings more than 50 years old.

The NDA, an arms length body of the Department of Energy and Climate Change, was set up in 2005 to tackle the UK's nuclear legacy.

And Mr Clarke said that before the NDA's creation there was no credible lifetime plan for Sellafield and tough decisions about how to ultimately decommission the site were simply put off.

He said: “We are now facing up to those challenges and for the first time we have a proper plan in place for the decommissioning of Sellafield which lays out in detail programmes of work for every area of the site. Since 2005, the financial investment at Sellafield has increased from £900 million to over £1.5 billion a year.

“There are a significant number of existing facilities on site already storing high and intermediate level waste that meet the highest international standards and the Sellafield Plan includes an ongoing construction programme of surface stores over the next ten to fifteen years, to be built to these standards, valued around £600 million.

“This makes Sellafield one of the largest construction sites in Europe.”

“The report has focused on the major projects element of the Sellafield programme which represents some £450 million a year out of Sellafield's £1.6 billion annual site expenditure.

“It has recognised the progress made by the NDA in developing the strategy and plans to tackle this hazardous legacy, as well as the difficult context of putting in place a contract to deliver a programme of work whilst significant uncertainty about the scope of the task remains.

“Of course, not everything has gone smoothly on such a complex and highly technical programme and the report has rightly pointed to areas where we and the site need to do better. We have a programme of improvements in place and continue to work with Sellafield Ltd and NMP to make continued progress across a broad front of safe operations and project delivery.”
 

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