NDA lays out plans for years ahead

27 March 2015

The UK's Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) has published its latest business plan, setting out its anticipated income and expenditure during the next financial year. It also includes a high-level 20-year overview of objectives it is working towards, and takes a more detailed look at key activities over the next three years.

The NDA said its total planned expenditure for 2015/16 is £3.3 billion ($4.9 billion), of which £2.1 billion ($3.1 billion) will be funded by the UK government and £1.2 billion ($1.8 billion) by income from commercial operations. This compares with expenditure of £3.2 billion ($4.8 billion) in 2014/15, of which £2.2 billion ($3.3 billion) was funded by government and £993 ($1.5 billion) was from income.

Planned expenditure on site programs will be £2.9 billion ($4.3 billion), while non-site expenditure is expected to be £190 million ($283 million). This non-site expenditure includes skills development, socio-economic, research and development, insurance and pension costs, fees to site licence companies, implementing geological disposal and NDA operating costs.

NDA said, "Within affordbility and funding allocation constraints, we will seek to maintain progress and maximise value for money. We will do this by focusing on the highest hazards and risks, whilst ensuring that safe, secure and environmentally responsible site operations are maintained across our estate."

Activities at Sellafield will account for over half of expenditure - £1.9 billion ($2.9 billion) - and will mainly focus on the redundant legacy ponds and silo facilities. The work program includes removal of nuclear fuel, sludge and solid material and their treatment and storage.

The ten Magnox and two research sites owned by NDA will account for some £602 million ($897 million) in spending. Key activities will include the extension of electricity generation at Wylfa until December 2015, defueling at Oldbury and taking Bradwell and Trawsfynydd into early care and maintenance.

At Dounreay, where £209 million ($311 million) will be spent on activities including decontamination of the prototype fast reactor pool, completion of new fuel characterization facilities and the complete removal of all fuels from the fast reactor.

NDA's current funding allocations were made in the 2010 spending review (for financial years 2010/11 to 2014/15) and the spending round 2013 (for 2015/16). It expects a further spending review to be announced in 2015, setting the NDA's funding envelope for 2016/17 and probably beyond.

NDA CEO John Clarke said, "For the NDA itself, as well as sharp focus on the Sellafield transition, work in the upcoming year will be dominated by the third review of our overarching decommissioning strategy."

He added, "With publication anticipated for March 2016, efforts will be concentrated on fully re-affirming the strategic direction of travel and confirming that it will deliver the long-term outcomes required for the success of our mission. This strategic review will take place alongside preparation for what is expected to be a challenging spending review in 2015."

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News