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Babcock/Fluor joint venture wins £7bn UK nuclear decommissioning contract

01 April 2014

The £7 billion contract to decommission 12 major nuclear sites across the UK has been awarded to Cavendish Fluor Partnership (CFP), a joint venture between Babcock International subsidiary Cavendish Nuclear and US-based Fluor Corporation. CFP beat three other teams to the contract, including the current Magnox sites manager, EnergySolutions.

Wylfa, the only remaining operational Magnox station - Photo: Magnox
Wylfa, the only remaining operational Magnox station - Photo: Magnox

The consortium will take over Magnox nuclear power stations and Research Sites Restoration Ltd (RSRL) sites in September this year. The 14 year contract is one of the largest the UK government has ever put out to tender.

The Magnox sites are at Berkeley, Bradwell, Chapelcross, Dungeness A, Hinkley A, Hunterston A, Oldbury, Sizewell A, Trawsfynydd and Wylfa. Wylfa is still generating electricity, while the other sites are at various stages of defuelling and decommissioning. The RSRL sites are at Harwell and Winfrith.

In its March 31 announcement, the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) said it expected the partnership to make £1bn of savings on the decommissioning programme.

Peter Rogers, chief executive of Babcock, said the selection of the Cavendish Fluor Partnership “reflects not only the market leadership of Cavendish Nuclear in nuclear engineering services but also its ability to successfully deliver complex projects of national significance in very demanding environments”.

John Clarke, chief executive of the NDA, said the selection was a “significant step” in the NDA’s “drive to attract world-class management and innovation”.

Last autumn, the NDA extended  for five years the contract for URS, Areva and Amec to run its most complex site at Sellafield,  despite criticism from MPs about the consortium's management of the programme since it was first awarded in 2008. There has been a series of overruns and cost hikes on projects at the site under their stewardship.

Although the UK government is focused on building new nuclear plants, Britain's old stations and nuclear research sites will remain sizeable employers as companies dismantle plants and clean up radioactive materials over decades.

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