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Dialogue opens for £7 billion UK nuclear sites contract

22 January 2013

The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) has confirmed that four global organisations are set to embark on the next phase of the competition to run 12 historic UK nuclear sites. The award of the £7 billion contract for ownership of Magnox Ltd and Research Sites Restoration Ltd (RSRL) represents one of the the country's largest public procurement exercises. 

The Dragon reactor at Winfrith in Dorset is one of the final facilities to be decommissioned at the site
The Dragon reactor at Winfrith in Dorset is one of the final facilities to be decommissioned at the site

An eight-month period of formal dialogue with the NDA starts in February, providing each of the bidding teams with opportunities to gather information during a series of face-to-face meetings. Site visits are also being organised, enabling the prospective bidders to see at first hand the challenges that will help to inform their tender proposals. 

The bidding consortia are:
*Reactor Site Solutions (Bechtel, EnergySolutions)
*The Babcock Fluor Partnership
*CAS Restoration Partnership (CH2M Hill, Areva, Serco)
*UK Nuclear Restoration Ltd (AMEC/Atkins).

The competition will run over two years, with completion scheduled for 2014, and the successful consortium will take forward a decommissioning programme worth £4-5 billion over the next seven years and almost £2 billion for the following seven years. 

The NDA's Competition Manager Steve Dixon said:
"We are pleased to be entering this critical phase of the competition, which is vital in helping the prospective bidders to understand our requirements and to put their proposals together. It will have a major impact on ensuring we achieve the best possible outcome for the Magnox and RSRL sites." 

Nine of the Magnox sites in Scotland, Wales and England are nuclear power stations that have stopped generating and are in various stages of decommissioning, while one, Wylfa on Anglesey, is still generating electricity but is expected to close by 2014. Magnox Ltd is currently owned by EnergySolutions. 

The two RSRL sites at Harwell and Winfrith are former research centres that housed some of the UK's earliest experimental reactors but are now well advanced in their decommissioning programmes. RSRL is currently owned by Babcock International Group. 

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