Taxpayers face a big rise in the bill for cleaning up the first generation of nuclear power stations in Britain after the company that was wrongly awarded the contract raised its estimate by £1.6 billion. Cavendish Fluor Partnership (CFP), a joint venture led by Babcock, the British defence and engineering company, has told the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) that the cost of cleaning up the 12 Magnox reactors will rise by 18 per cent to more than £10 billion, The Times has learnt. CFP was awarded the contract in 2014 but the decision was challenged by EnergySolutions, a failed bidder owned at the time by an American private equity group. The High Court ruled two weeks ago that CFP should not have been given the project, with the judge saying that the NDA had failed to treat bidders equally and “manipulated” the process to allow CFP to participate. The cost has been escalating for some time. The original £7 billion estimate for the 14-year contract rose to £7.6 billion to reduce the long-term expense of the decades-long care-and-maintenance period after the contract is completed. In May the NDA said that the cost had hit £8.7 billion because of technical setbacks and the addition of two testing sites to the project. The problems included the unexpected discovery of large amounts of asbestos at the sites and a critical process at Trawsfynydd in Snowdonia running “many years behind schedule”. Work at Bradwell was also running late.
Times 11th Aug 2016 read more »