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Amec defends involvement with Sellafield and seeks nuclear clean-up extension

13 August 2013

In an interview with the Daily Telegraph, AMEC chief executive Samir Brikho said he was “optimistic” of retaining the £22bn contract, despite admitting failings. The British company is part of the Nuclear Management Partners consortium with America’s URS and France’s Areva, which oversees the work at the UK’s biggest and most toxic nuclear site.

In 2008, NMP was selected to run the site for up to 17 years, with a series of “break points”, the first of which is this year.

The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority is deciding whether to renew the contract, to re-tender it, or to take over the management itself, with a decision expected in September. Sources in Cumbria say the preffered option of NDA managers would be to take Sellafield back into state hands.

The National Audit Office and MPs on the Public Accounts Committee have both criticised operations at Sellafield, where 12 out of 14 major projects failed to meet targets in 2011-12. Sellafield was fined £700,000 in June after “significant management and operational failings” allowed radioactive waste to be sent to a landfill site.

Brikho told the Telegraph: “We have learned a lot, they have learned a lot, and now we are adjusting expectations on both sides. We have been adding good value, we have been saving quite a lot of money – more than £450m on a number of things. It’s not like we are doing nothing.”

He admitted: “There have also been some things we have not been doing that great.” But he stressed that the situation was “very complex”.

NMP earned some £39m from the Government for managing Sellafield in 2012-13, down from £54m the previous year.




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