The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority’s management of the Magnox contract.
Public Accounts Committee 27th Nov 2020 read more »
MPs attack ‘lack of knowledge’ over UK nuclear power clean-up. MPs attack ‘lack of knowledge’ over UK nuclear power clean-up. Public accounts committee calls for ‘clearer discipline’ in managing sites. Parliamentarians warned the government of a lack of “permanent” knowledge of the state of 17 early nuclear power plants in Britain. This is expected to cost taxpayers approximately £ 130 billion to clean up over the next 120 years. This lack of knowledge about retired facilities, including Cumbria’s Sellafield and 12 early nuclear power plants known as the “Magnox” station, has already wasted hundreds of millions of pounds of taxpayer money and “progressed. It continues to be a major barrier to accomplishment, with cleanup, according to the Public Accounting Committee of the Commonwealth House, Spending monitoring agencies are responsible for managing 17 sites that were built before the privatization of electricity systems in the 1990s and are responsible for the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, a public agency overseen by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. Asked for “clearer discipline”. Industrial strategy. According to MP, the latest estimate for cleaning up all 17 early sites is £ 132 billion, most of which is in Sellafield.
FT 27th Nov 2020 read more »
WARNINGS have been issued that a “perpetual” lack of knowledge around the condition of the UK’s nuclear sites means decommissioning will not be completed for another 120 years and cost billions of pounds. The UK’s civil nuclear sites including Torness Power Station in East Lothian and the Hunterston B Power Station in Ayrshire will cost taxpayers around £132 billion to decommission and not be completed for another 120 years, according to a new report. The SNP said the report was a warning “the UK Government should cease its obsession with nuclear power” and called on the Tories to “commit to scrapping any new nuclear projects”. Decommissioning sites in Scotland are located at Dounreay, Chapelcross Power Station and Hunterston A Power Station, but the new document warns the process will have significant impacts on the lives of nearby residents. In the stark report, the UK Government’s Public Accounts Committee has blamed a “sorry saga” of massive failed contracts, “weak” Government oversight and “perpetual” lack of knowledge of state of nuclear sites. Its report said decommissioning of retired civil nuclear sites was an “afterthought” when the UK’s pioneering nuclear industry was established. Decades of poor record-keeping of the state and location of hazardous and toxic materials has left the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) with the legacy of a lack of knowledge about the condition of the sites it is responsible for making safe, warned the report. The NDA acknowledges that it still does not have full understanding of the condition of the 17 sites across its estate, including the 10 former Magnox power stations, according to the committee report. According to its most recent estimates, it will cost current and future generations of UK taxpayers a staggering £132 billion to decommission the UK’s civil nuclear sites, and the work will not be completed for another 120 years, with significant impacts on the lives of those who live near the sites, the report said.
Herald 27th Nov 2020 read more »
The £132bn bill to make our nuclear sites safe: Decommissioning will cost a fortune and could take up to 120 years, report warns. The cost to current and future taxpayers is estimated at £132billion and more than a century of work will have a significant impact on those who live nearby, added the report. Just to get the sites to the care and maintenance stage of the process will cost up to £8.7 billion. The PAC said past experience suggests the estimates will soon be out of date, with costs rising even higher. According to the report the NDA admits that it does not fully understand the condition of the sites, which include ten former Magnox power stations.
Daily Mail 27th Nov 2020 read more »
The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) has a perpetual lack of knowledge about the state and location of waste on the 17 sites it is responsible for making safe, a powerful committee of MPs has found. This results from decades of poor record keeping and weak government oversight, the MPs said. Combined with a “sorry saga” of incompetence and failure, this has left taxpayers footing the bill for “astronomical sums”, they said. The NDA acknowledges that it still does not have full understanding of the condition of its sites, including 10 closed Magnox stations from Dungeness in Kent to Hunterston in Ayrshire, the MPs report said. The MPs recommended the NDA speed up its work: “It may be possible to reduce the time it will take to fully decommission the sites from around 85 years to more like 40-45 years. This could significantly reduce the long-term cost.” They also said taxpayers’ money could be saved by accelerating the programme to create a geological disposal facility to permanently store highly radioactive waste currently held in interim facilities.
Guardian 27th Nov 2020 read more »
The NDA came under fire in 2017 when it was forced to terminate a contract for private sector companies to handle their decommission. The agreement for the Cavendish Fluor Partnership to clean up the Magnox sites was ended three years early at a cost to the taxpayer of £140m because the NDA did not understand the scale of work required. The committee said this lack of understanding was a “significant factor” in ending the contract and “seriously damaged the NDA’s reputation”.
Telegraph 27th Nov 2020 read more »
The report highlighted new figures from the NDA, the quango in charge of the clean-up, which estimate the remaining cost over the next 120 years has risen to £132 billion from £124 billion a year earlier. NDA accounts show this was driven by a £5 billion increase to the estimated cost of decommissioning the ten Magnox nuclear power plant sites, which is now put at almost £20 billion, as well as a further £2.5 billion increase to the remaining costs at Sellafield, Britain’s biggest and most toxic site, which accounts for almost £97 billion of the total. MPs said that the estimates were “inherently uncertain” and might increase further.
Times 27th Nov 2020 read more »
The NDA doesn’t really know because, as it told MPs, it “still does not have full understanding of the condition of the 17 sites”. It’s a point it proved with the meltdown of the £3.8 billion Magnox clean-up contract wrongly awarded to the Cavendish Fluor Partnership in 2014. That fiasco saw a High Court judge rule that the losing bidder, Energy Solutions and its partner, Bechtel, should have won the 14-year contract to bring the plants to a state of “care and maintenance”. The upshot? The government terminated the contract at a cost to the taxpayer of £142 million. And now it’s back in the hands of the NDA, which is telling MPs that even that bit of work will now cost up to £8.7 billion and take another “12 to 15 years”. As the committee notes: “Past experience with the NDA suggests even these estimates will soon be out of date and costs may increase further”. Isn’t that the story of everything to do with nuclear? True, you’d expect new-build plants to be better managed than Magnox and less tricky to decommission than the Sellafield complex. The NDA also rejects the committee’s “suggestions that we may not understand the safety of our sites”. And the taxpayer-fleecing cost of the electricity coming from the £22.5 billion Hinkley Point C is meant to cover the clean-up bill. Yet before Boris presses the go button on more nukes, including Rolls-Royce’s modular type, shouldn’t there be a debate about the waste? The government’s big idea is to bribe some local authority into housing a nice toxic dump, prettily dressed up as a “geological disposal facility”. Copeland in Cumbria is the closest to volunteering. But a deal is a long way off and the plan’s been vetoed before by Cumbria county council.
Times 27th Nov 2020 read more »