A consortium including Amec, the British engineering group, Areva of France and Washington Division of the US have won a £6.75 billion contract to clean up Sellafield. The consortium is called Nuclear Management Partners (NMP).
Bob Pedde, of Washington Division, part of the URS Corporation, the construction and engineering group, will head the consortium that is set to take over day-to-day management of Sellafield in November.
“The contract is designed to last for 17 years in five-year increments and we intend to be there for the long term,” he said. The The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority said that the contract is worth £1.3 billion a year, plus annual fees of £50 million.
News that the nuclear power station developer Areva will be involved in Sellafield in the long term has increased speculation that the site in Cumbria will become home to one of the UK’s new generation of nuclear power stations. Areva works closely with EDF, the French energy giant, which has been considering Sellafield as a potential site.
Greenpeace expressed concerns, “Not only could this contract be worth £22 billion of taxpayers’ money, they have also waived the insurance indemnity meaning that public money could be used to sort out any accidents that occur on site.”
NMP now finds itself in the throes of a dispute with Sellafield’s 10,000 workers. After months of negotiations, the employees have rejected a 2 per cent pay settlement and will ballot on industrial action this month. They are expected to vote for a strike, which would shut down the plant for up to a week.
The clean up is expected to take up to 100 years. A child born today will die a good old age with the Sellafield clean up still on the political, environmental & energy agenda.