SELLAFIELD and the National Nuclear Laboratory (NNL) have signed a new deal, designed to get value for money for the taxpayer.

This new 'collaboration agreement' sets out how the two bodies will work together at the Sellafield site.

It was signed by the two organisations' respective chairmen, Tony Fountain of Sellafield's and Andrew Mathews of the NNL and is designed to deliver the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy’s objective to speed up the clean-up in west Cumbria.

This agreement says the two groups will focus on developing new technologies and on sourcing them from the current supply chain, other national laboratories and academia, with the aim of making sure the most up to date and efficient technologies are made use of.

It builds on links which already exist between both organisations.

Rebecca Weston, the technical director for Sellafield, said: "To be successful the futures of Sellafield Ltd and NNL are inextricably linked. The history, knowledge and experience shared by the respective technical teams, as well as the physical integration of facilities on the Sellafield site reinforce these links.

"It is therefore important to recognise this in the formal relationship between the organisations and this is why I'm very pleased to have the collaboration agreement in place. There are challenging times ahead to work out how to meet the needs of all our stakeholders and this won't be possible unless we work together collaboratively."

Paul Howarth, managing director of NNL, added: "Within NNL we have a good deal of science, technology and innovation which can help to reduce the cost and timescales of the clean-up mission whilst improving safety. It therefore makes perfect sense for us to seek a more collaborative working arrangement between the two Government-owned bodies in the national interest.

"I’m delighted that this agreement builds on the excellent links which already exist between us and I am confident that we will see even more success ahead for both organisations – and for the UK’s nuclear sector as a whole – over the coming years.”