Cavendish Fluor wins UK decommissioning contract

31 March 2014

A joint venture between Cavendish Nuclear and Fluor Corporation has been selected to handle the £7 billion decommissioning of the UK's Magnox power plants as well as several nuclear research facilities.

Demolition of buildings surrounding the Dragon reactor under way at Winfrith in February 2014 (Image: SRSL)

The announcement of Cavendish Fluor Partnership as preferred bidder for the work is the latest stage in a two-year competitive process to secure a private-sector parent body organisation to take over management of the sites managed by Magnox Ltd and Research Sites Restoration Ltd (RSRL). Between them the NDA-owned companies are responsible for the decommissioning of the homes of ten former Magnox power plants, plus the former nuclear research centres at Harwell and Winfrith. When NDA opened dialogue with four bidders in January 2013, it valued the contract at around £7 billion ($11.6 billion) over a 14-year period. The successful contractor will earn a fee that is a portion of the overall value, and will depend on performance.

The formal award of the still-to-be-finalised contract and transfer of the shares of the two site licence companies to Cavendish Fluor Partnership are scheduled to take place on 1 September, after a five-month transition period. Until that point, the current parent body organisations (EnergySolutions for Magnox Ltd and UKAEA Ltd, owned by Babcock International, for RSRL) will remain in charge of the companies. The three other PBO bidders - consortia of Bechtel-EnergySolutions, CH2M Hill-Areva-Serco and AMEC-Atkins - will be held in reserve until the transfer is completed.

NDA CEO John Clarke described the selection of the Cavendish Fluor Partnership as a "significant step" for the authority. Roger Hardy, managing director of Cavendish Nuclear said the selection as preferred bidder was a "fantastic achievement" for the Babcock International subsidiary.

The NDA has previously awarded parent body contracts for the management of the site licence companies for the UK's Low Level Waste Repository at Drigg in Cumbria, Sellafield Ltd and Dounreay Site Restoration Ltd.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News