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Thursday, 18 December 2014

NMP WILL clean-up Sellafield for next five years

We can now confirm that the NMP will remain in charge of cleaning up the Sellafield nuclear site despite being widely criticised for its performance over the last five years.

Sellafield photo
Sellafield

Site owners, the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA), announced today that it will grant the firm a second five-year period to run the site.

The authority initially granted NMP - a consortium led by the American URS Corporation alongside the British engineering group Amec and the French nuclear business Areva - a 17-year £22bn contract to run Sellafield from 2009. The contract had a break clause after five years, which the NDA has decided not to activate.

The newly-granted extension will run from March 2014 to March 2019.

John Clarke, NDA’s chief executive officer, said: “Sellafield is by far the most complex and challenging site in our portfolio, and we are determined to drive improved performance at the site.

“We have reviewed progress under the contract to date and concluded that the right decision is to extend the contract to give NMP further time to bring about the improvements in capability and performance at the site that we and they are looking for.

“Both NMP and the NDA now have a much better understanding of the issues and complexities that exist at the site and the challenges that lie ahead.

“Whilst progress is being made on a number of fronts we will require significant improvements during the next period. We have had extensive discussions with NMP and made clear where these improvements must be made.

“We will continue to monitor performance closely and remain focused on achieving our goal of safe, effective, value for money decommissioning at Sellafield – as we are seeing elsewhere across our portfolio of sites.

“We look forward to working with the Sellafield management team to support them in the successful implementation of their plans and we remain committed to exploring ways to maximise the local economic benefits of the enormous £1.8 billion annual expenditure programme at the site.”

Baroness Verma, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC), said: “Sellafield remains the Government’s top priority in our nuclear decommissioning programme. We support this decision to extend the contract which will build on skills and expertise at the site and the progress made so far.”

Tom Zarges, chairman of NMP, said: “The task at Sellafield is unprecedented. We have learnt an enormous amount about the challenges of the site and the areas that we need to focus on looking forward.

“We believe we are well placed to build on our progress to date and deliver improved performance in the next period.”

 

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