Your energy editor’s report of the very expensive consequences of what you characterize as the “flawed tendering process for dismantling old reactors at 12 sites quotes my research colleague, Stephen Thomas, emeritus professor of energy policy at the University of Greenwich, as branding the NDA’s handling of the contract as “an immense screw-up.” I fear it is much worse than that. From my detailed experience of a previous failed management contract agreed by the NDA , also placed with an American company-led consortium, Nuclear Management Partners (NMP) , which also led to the early cancelling of the contract, there could well be dubious collusion between the NDA and the then responsible Government Department ( energy and climate change, DECC) under a Labour Government, at the expense of the long fleeced taxpayers. The investigator appointed by business secretary Greg Clark to look into this scandal, Steve Holliday, needs to revisit this earlier Sellafield scandal to assess why the public procurement lessons – especially the need for candour and transparency- that should have been learned, were not.
David Lowry’s Blog 28th March 2017 read more »
TWO of the country’s leading unions have voiced concerns following the launch of a government inquiry into the clean-up contract of power stations including Berkeley and Oldbury. The termination of the £6billion contract with Cavendish Fuor Partnership to decommission 12 redundant Magnox reactors was announced by the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) yesterday, sparking criticism from unions Prospect and Unite. Business secretary Clark Greg announced that an inquiry would take place into the tendering process that led to the 14-year contract being awarded in 2014 following a High Court case that resulted in a £100million fine that will be picked up by the taxpayer. Prospect general secretary Mike Clancy said: “This is an extraordinary situation given the scale and importance of the Magnox contract to the UK nuclear industry. “The public, and our members, will want reassurance that the termination process, and uncertainty over the future of decommissioning, will not lead to standards deteriorating or the loss of UK expertise. “Over the years, members have been moved from the public to private sector and back again. While this has proved politically convenient at times, it can be no surprise that treating people in this way creates resentment and confusion.”
Gloucestershire Gazette 28th March 2017 read more »