The UK's Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) has announced the competition strategy for selecting who will manage the cleanup of the remainder of the UK's civil nuclear facilities under its ownership.
|Decommissioning activities at Dounreay (Image: DSRL)
The NDA said that following the successful conclusion of the competition to select and appoint new Parent Body Organizations (PBOs) for the Sellafield Site Licence Company and the low-level waste (LLW) repository near Drigg in Cumbria, it will now launch two competitions for PBOs for its other sites.
In July, a 'preferred bidder' was selected for the management of the UK's enormous Sellafield site. The Nuclear Management Partners consortium - consisting of Washington International Holdings, Amec and Areva - is now negotiating over the £1.3 billion ($2.5 billion) per year contract.
The NDA now expects to launch a competition to select a PBO for Dounreay Site Restoration Ltd (DSRL) in the third quarter of 2009. The contract award for Dounreay is expected to be achieved by the end of 2010, the NDA said. DSRL is currently owned by UKAEA and manages and operates the Dounreay site in Scotland.
Dounreay was the UK's centre for experimental fast breeder research and development from 1954 until 1994. The site is now being decommissioned under a program that is expected to cost an estimated £2.5 billion ($5 billion) and will involve the gradual dismantling and removal of plant and facilities on site over the next 20 years.
A competition to select a single PBO for three site licence companies - Magnox North Ltd; Magnox South Ltd; and Research Sites Restoration Ltd (RSRL) - is expected to begin in 2011 and to be completed by the end of 2012.
NDA chairman Stephen Henwood commented: "We are on track to complete our first round of competitions by 2012, in line with our strategy approved in 2006. The decision to proceed with Dounreay next supports our policy of dealing with the highest hazards first."
In June 2007, British Nuclear Fuels (BNFL) reached an agreement to sell the entire share capital of its Reactor Sites Management Company (RSMC) business to Energy Solutions of the USA. The sale included Magnox Electric, a wholly-owned subsidiary of RSMC, which held the contracts and licences to operate and decommission ten nuclear sites with 22 reactors in the UK on behalf of the NDA. The sites include Dungeness A, Sizewell A, Bradwell, Berkeley, Hinkley Point A, Oldbury, Trawsfynydd, Wylfa, Chapelcross and Hunterston A.
Energy Solutions said that it will continue to manage the clean-up project at the Magnox sites until the new contract is awarded around 2012. However, it said that it plans to bid on the new contract.
Mark Morant, president of Energy Solutions International Group, said, "We are delighted that the NDA has announced its competition schedule and we appreciate its confidence in us as we move forward with the clean-up of the Magnox sites. We will continue to operate in a safe and cost effective manner." He added, "This announcement gives clarity to the workforce and local communities whose continued support is vital to the success of this important project."