Immense challenges ahead at Sellafield

The National Audit Office is warning of the immense financial and technical challenges that lie ahead in decommissioning the giant Sellafield nuclear site in West Cumbria.

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Jamie Reed MP response to Sellafield report

Copeland MP and Shadow Health Minister Jamie Reed has responded to the report of National Audit Office'Managing Risk Reduction at Sellafield'. He said:

"There is nothing new in this report that observers of UK nuclear policy will not be aware of. Where criticisms regarding the speed of progress is made, they are largely deserved and for the most part fair, but they are not new and nobody understands them better than the Sellafield workforce and the NDA.

"It is essential to recognise that is is safe and secure and the historical liabilities are overwhelmingly due to our military nuclear weapons programme rather than our civil nuclear programme.

“This report underlines the need to effectively expedite the decisions needed for long-term waste disposal and the development of a deep underground repository. This will be of crucial importance in establishing robust and predictable clean up costs.

"The report also highlights the critical role of the NDA in holding NMP and Sellafield Ltd to account and I know under John Clarke's leadership, this will happen and progress will continue to be driven."

– Jamie Reed MP

Anti nuclear campaigners welcome report

Ruth Balogh: Nuclear issues campaigner Credit: ITV Border

Ruth Balogh is the Nuclear Issues Campaigner for West Cumbria and North Lakes For Friends of the Earth. She spoke to ITV Border about the report into Sellafield, she said:

"I welcome the breaking of the silence on this matter because there has been many criticisms from the nuclear installations inspectorate over the last 10 or 15 years about all of this this. There's been a silence about it so I think it's absolutely great that it's now out in the open.

"I would also say however that the managing radioactive safe project which is looking for a dee geological disposal facility should have embraced all of this from the very beginning, because this is all about managing radioactive waste safely in its broadest sense.

"What's happened is that it concentrated on deep geological disposal to the exclusion of the interim storage, which would have to happen anyway even if had a dump - which wouldn't be open for some decades.

"This stuff should be stored safely. And to be honest it would create a lot of much needed jobs to really tackle the business properly."

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Nuclear Decommissioning Authority statement

The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority have released a statement in response to a report by the Audit Office which reveals immense financial challenges ahead for the Sellafield site.

In it they welcome the report and congratulate the Audit Office on the quality of their work

"The Report has focussed on the major projects element of the Sellafield programme which represents some £450 million a year out of Sellafield's £1.6 billion annual site expenditure.

"The Report has recognised the unique nature of the task at Sellafield and the scale of the challenge to deliver major projects at Europe's most complex industrial site, where facilities, equipment and materials date back to the 1940s and 50s.

"The NAO has recognised the progress made by the NDA in developing the strategy and plans to tackle this hazardous legacy, as well as the difficult context of putting in place a contract to deliver a programme of work whilst significant uncertainty about the scope of the task remains.

– Nuclear Decommissioning Authority

The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority own the Sellafield site which is run by Sellafield Limited.

Sellafield Ltd respond to National Audit Office report

Sellafield Ltd have responded to a report by the National Audit Office which warns of the immense financial and technical challenges that lie ahead in decommissioning the giant Sellafield nuclear site in West Cumbria. In a statement Sellafield Ltd said:

"We welcome the report and are pleased that the NAO recognise the globally unique challenge we are facing in cleaning up and decommissioning the site.

"In their report the NAO also highlight a number of areas for improvement, mainly focusedaround the project management scope of work, which equates to around a quarter of ourannual budget.

"This is a problem we have recognised, and we have already taken steps to strengthen ourapproach, both in terms of how we manage projects as a whole and how we develop better,more beneficial relationships with the supply chain."

– Sellafield Ltd

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