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UK Nuclear Decommissioning Authority says crucial milestones achieved in 2012/13

22 July 2013

The UK Nuclear Decommissioning Authority’s 2012-2013 Annual Report and Accounts claims that “progress was generally good across the NDA's 19 licensed sites.”

Achievements included:
*completion of defueling at Chapelcross and Dungeness A, removing 99% of radioactivity from those sites
*agreement of a plan to bring forward the closure of the Winfrith and Harwell research sites by a combined 32 years, with potential cost savings of £500 million
*integration of a new contract at Dounreay, expected to save taxpayers £1bn and bring forward closure by 17 years
*higher than expected commercial income of almost £900m, aided by extended generation at Wylfa and land sales at Capenhurst worth £50m
*progress on a £7 billion competition to run 12 sites
*the largest-ever programme of work in decommissioning programme for 10 Magnox sites
*completion of the first five years under private control for the Low Level Repository in Cumbria, which has so far saved taxpayers £30m
*strong industrial safety performance at Sellafield, whilst delivering three key projects to enable future retrieval of radioactive waste from legacy storage facilities
*successful completion of the third shipment of vitrified highly active waste to Japan
NDA chief executive John Clarke, who has completed his first full year in charge of the authority, said: "Sellafield remains our top priority. It is the world's most complex nuclear site, with unprecedented challenges. Against this background, performance in the year has been mixed with some notable milestones achieved on legacy ponds and silos balanced by some disappointing project cost increases and schedule slippages, together with operational performance impacted by unreliable plant.
Baroness Verma, Department of Energy and Climate Change minister with responsibility for nuclear decommissioning, said: "I've been impressed by the approach and professionalism of the NDA as the strategic authority acting on behalf of Government to oversee this vital programme.
"An absolute priority is to deal with the legacy, particularly at Sellafield. On visiting Sellafield I saw the sheer size, scale and complexity of the challenges facing the NDA. It is absolutely right that there is a relentless focus on tackling the inherited legacies of the first-generation nuclear power stations. 
"The process will take many decades and will need to address many of the unique, high-hazard problems that accumulated in the post-war years. 
"Significant milestones have also been achieved elsewhere in the NDA estate, delivering innovation, reduced timeframes and savings for the taxpayer as various research and former generating sites are progressively being defueled and decommissioned with land returned for future use."

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