The findings of the spending watchdog’s latest report on the status of Sellafield’s clean-up projects and costs makes yet more dreary reading for the UK taxpayer – the costs described as ‘a misuse of public funds’ by a spokesman for the report’s authors the Government’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC). The PAC report pulls few punches in its criticism of the way the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) is managing many of the major projects needed to clean up Sellafield. The site currently receives some £2Bn of public money every year and, over the next 100+ years of decommissioning is expected to cost a total of £91Bn. In a slight but revealing departure from the pattern of previous reports, PAC raises the spectre of the UK’s plutonium stockpile (40% of the world’s global stock) and the latest thinking by Government on its long-term plutonium management options. [An NDA FoI response to CORE (29.10.18) suggests an update on its plutonium plans is currently being finalised by the NDA and could be published in the next month or so]
CORE 31st Oct 2018 read more »
BBC News reports that The UK government must “get a grip” on spiralling costs and project delays that have plagued the Sellafield nuclear site, located on the far side of the Irish Sea on the Cumbrian coast, approximately 170 km (112 miles) from the northeast coast of Ireland, just 128 miles from Dublin. The UK’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC) said in a report that some decommissioning projects had already been delayed by more than a decade. It said estimated budget overruns had climbed to nearly £1bn.
Afloat 31st Oct 2018 read more »
The Nuclear Free Local Authorities (NFLA) notes the latest report on performance at the Sellafield nuclear site from the Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee (PAC). While NFLA acknowledge that some improvements have been made, it shares the concern of the PAC that large cost overruns and ineffective management structures are still stifling the work of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA), and its oversight by the UK Government. On the positive side, the report notes that the NDA and Sellafield Limited have met significant milestones with reducing risk at the high hazard facilities at Sellafield, the NDA’s largest and most hazardous site. The NDA and Sellafield Limited have also made progress with reducing delays and expected cost overruns with 14 major projects at Sellafield, which have a combined lifetime cost estimate of £6 billion. NFLA welcome these improvements, which appear to show the benefits of keeping the Sellafield contract ‘in house’ within the NDA, rather than with an external contractor. However, the PAC report goes on to say: “While we recognise that there has been progress since this Committee last reported, there is still a long way to go and the NDA cannot afford to be complacent. Most major projects at Sellafield are still significantly delayed, with expected combined cost overruns of £913 million. The NDA has not systematically reviewed why these projects keep running into difficulties, or analysed properly the constraints it says prevent them from making faster progress. Until this work is completed, we remain sceptical about its long-term strategy to decommission Sellafield. Also, despite this Committee’s recommendation nearly five years ago, the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy has still not decided what to do with the plutonium stockpile currently stored at Sellafield.”
NFLA 31st Oct 2018 read more »