Sellafield to acquire strategic partner from private sector

The UK’s Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) has made the recommendation following a detailed review which concluded that the complex, technical uncertainties at the Sellafield site were less suited to the Parent Body Organisation (PBO) model that is working well elsewhere in the NDA’s estate.

The first part of treating this waste is to concentrate it down in evaporators to reduce its volume in preparation for its incorporation into glass – a process known as vitrification, which takes place in the Waste Vitrification Plant.

By K. Steiner-Dicks

Under the new arrangements, Sellafield Ltd will acquire a ‘strategic partner’ from the private sector to assist in its delivery rather than operate under the temporary ownership of a PBO.

New, simplified management arrangements will be introduced at Sellafield to ensure the long-term success of the clean-up programme at the Cumbrian site.

After a year-long review of the options, the NDA concluded that simplifying the relationship between the NDA and Sellafield Ltd will bring greater clarity and focus on achieving progress and value for money.

“The new arrangements will build on the success of the approach taken to complex infrastructure projects such as London’s Crossrail and the Olympics,” said a DECC statement.

Ed Davey, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, said: “Sellafield is the biggest and most complex nuclear site in Europe, so it’s right that we keep the way it’s being managed under constant review. We have seen great examples of how this approach can work with Crossrail and the Olympics – and I’m confident we’ll see similar results at Sellafield.”

In the new arrangements, ownership of Sellafield Ltd reverts to the NDA from Nuclear Management Partners, the consortium that took control of Sellafield Ltd under contract to NDA in 2008.

The Sellafield Ltd Board will continue to consist of existing non-executive directors and key members of the current executive team, but over time will now also see the introduction of NDA appointed directors. Reporting to this Board will be the Sellafield Ltd executive team which will continue to have day-to-day management responsibilities for the site.

The NDA’s recommendation is fully supported by DECC and the NDA anticipates the full co-operation of Nuclear Management Partners during the transition to new arrangements over the next 12-15 months.