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Decommissioning Sellafield faces overspend of £913million according to report

Photo: PA

Decommissioning the nuclear site at Sellafield faces continued delays and an overspend of up to £913 million, according to an official report.

The National Audit Office said the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority had improved its performance in delivering major projects at the site in Cumbria.

But work is still predicted to be late and to cost more than originally expected.

£913m
is the forecasted overspend on decommissioning the nuclear site at Sellafield.
Credit: ITV Border

The NAO reported that three projects were cancelled when £586million had already been spent on them after the NDA said it had found a better way of delivering the work.

It said Sellafield Limited has achieved £470 million in efficiency savings, but added that neither the NDA nor the company knows their make-up and admit that a proportion does not represent genuine efficiency savings.

"The improvements in reducing risk at Sellafield are encouraging, but the scale of the challenge is very great and the Department could be doing more to support the NDA through better governance and oversight of performance.

"The NDA, for its part, needs to do a better job of explaining what progress it has made and what it will achieve over the next two to four years so Parliament can hold it to account.

"It might also help if there was less focus on the extraordinarily round terms of £120 billion to be spent over 120 years, and more focus on what can be delivered in a more meaningful timescale, say within 40 years, in terms of cleaning up this extremely dangerous nuclear legacy.

"I would hope this could be a great deal if they push ahead."

– Amyas Morse, head of the National Audit Office