The NDA and The Times at Loggerheads Over Nuclear Decommissioning Spending Reports Nuclear Energy Insider

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Recent findings have shown that the estimated total cost for cleanup of existing UK nuclear sites is expected to exceed £73bn. All nuclear power stations (except Sizewell B) will have stopped generating electricity by 2023 and decommissioning projects will begin to roll out on a major scale.

Recent findings have shown that the estimated total cost for cleanup of existing UK nuclear sites is expected to exceed £73bn. All nuclear power stations (except Sizewell B) will have stopped generating electricity by 2023 and decommissioning projects will begin to roll out on a major scale.

Major decommissioning work is currently ongoing at a number of power stations around the UK although decommissioning projects are still a long way away from completion. Estimates for decommissioning completion in the UK range from the year 2033 to around 2123. This huge range can be put down to many different factors but after months of independent research by Nuclear Energy Insider, it appears that one of the main concerns for the decommissioning industry is a financial one.

The Times produced an article on 25th November 2009 entitled “Cuts loom over UK’s nuclear clean-up budget” which explains that the Government will be reassessing next years budget for the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA). The report claims that big spending cuts are looking likely for UK contaminated sites including Sellafield and Dounreay. The Times explained that the biggest area of concern for the treasury is that almost £800m per year is spent on administration and other ‘support costs’.

The NDA were quick to respond to the article in The Times and in their statement published on 25th November 2009, they explained that “it is a priority for the whole NDA estate, including our Site Licence Companies which carry out the work on our sites and the NDA itself, to reduce the proportion of our budget spent on support costs so that we can deliver more decommissioning and clean-up work.”

Decommissioning nuclear sites is costly, technically challenging and potentially hazardous both to the workforce and the environment. The industry is looking for ways to reduce decommissioning costs in order to ensure that taxpayers’ money is being spent effectively and is aiding actual decommissioning efforts. Careful planning and common sense strategies must be put in place by all involved in nuclear decommissioning and in order to do that, some of the following challenges must be faced:

  •     How to manage the supply chain effectively
  •     Allocation and handling of key risks
  •     Drafting ideal Tier 2 contracts
  •     Effective financial management
  •     Taking on advice from non-nuclear industries
  •     Outstanding on-site safety during cleanup
  •     Ensuring that there is supply regarding a new generation of nuclear personnel

The Nuclear Decommissioning Supply Chain Conference on 12th and 13th April 2010 in Manchester will discuss all of these issues and more and can supply your business with the critical intelligence and tools you need to build a cost effective, time efficient decommissioning strategy. With the HSE, Environment Agency, AMEC, Westinghouse, CH2M Hill, Serco, Jacobs, UKAEA and many others set to share their decommissioning experience. This event is set to be the primary meeting place for key players across the nuclear decommissioning supply chain in 2010. Find out more at http://www.nuclearenergyinsider.com/decom

Contact:
Dean Murphy
Senior Industry Analyst
Tel: +44 (0) 207 375 7204

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