Friday, 04 September 2015

NDA transfers Cheshire site to private sector

The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) has today completed the transfer of its Capenhurst site, in Cheshire, to the private sector – ending Sellafield Ltd’s management of the facility.

The move is the last landmark in an asset disposal programme which has now brought in well over £1billion for the UK taxpayer.

Under the deal, Capenhurst Nuclear Services (CNS), a URENCO Group company, will take ownership of the land, combining it with an adjacent former uranium enrichment site it already owns, creating one nuclear licensed site.

The agreement will signal the end of a west Cumbrian link with the site, near Ellesmere Port, which had been managed by Sellafield Ltd, the company that operates the Sellafield site, since 2005.

The transfer is part of the NDA’s asset use programme which has seen land at nuclear sites including Wylfa, on Anglesey, Oldbury, in Gloucestershire, and Springfields, near Preston, transferred to private sector ownership.

Sean Balmer, the NDA’s commercial director, who is based at the authority’s headquarters at Westlakes Science Park, near Whitehaven, said: “This is a great achievement and is the culmination of a huge amount of effort by the team involved.

“When added to the other successful projects in the asset use programme, well over £1 billion in savings have been produced for the UK taxpayer, through reduction in NDA liabilities or income receipts from the sale of land.

“The return of restored land to private sector ownership is a key part of the NDA strategy; not only does it raise revenue for the UK taxpayer, it also frees up our resources to concentrate on our core mission to clean up the UK’s nuclear legacy.

“I’m sure CNS will provide excellent stewardship of the Capenhurst site and I wish them well in continuing this extremely important work.”

Activities formerly carried out by Sellafield Ltd on the Capenhurst site will be transferred to CNS. This includes existing decommissioning and storage operations, as well as the processing of government-owned by-product/legacy material from uranium enrichment (known as “Tails”) through URENCO’s Tails Management Facility. Most of this material was already in storage at Capenhurst.

The deal marks a major milestone for the 60-year-old site, where the remediation of the legacy site has been largely completed, clearing the way for some of the biggest active area demolition projects ever undertaken in the UK nuclear industry.


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