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Council leader: lessons can be learned from nuclear management shake-up

The coming changes to Sellafield management should be seen as an "opportunity" to learn according to the leader of Copeland Council.

In a statement, Cllr Elaine Woodburn praised what she called the Nuclear Management Partners "progress" until this point, while recognising a need for change.

"...I think we can all accept that though this model has been successful, it is not the right way forward for the increased complexity and scale we face now and in the future."

– Cllr Elaine Woodburn, leader of Copeland Council

However she made clear that she would not accept change for the sake of it, and that she views the shake-up as an opportunity to make "social value" central to the site.

“We can all learn the lessons from this and not assume that a different model automatically means a better model. We should collectively use this as an opportunity to ensure that social value and socio economics is central, and built into all site activities and contracts henceforth."

– Cllr Elaine Woodburn, leader of Copeland Council

She also addressed the possible challenges faced as the transition unfolds, stating that she is "reassured" by the capabilities of those working at the site.

"However, we now need reassurance that the decommissioning mission will not suffer whilst these huge administrative changes take place, and I am reassured that the extremely talented and capable workforce will continue the lead the safe clean up the site"

– Cllr Elaine Woodburn, leader of Copeland Council

Edward Davey: Sellafield change 'best way forward'

The Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Edward Davey has released a statement on the coming changes at Sellafield.

He says that the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority has concluded that these changes are the "best way forward".

He confirms that Nuclear Managament Partners have lost ownership of Sellafield ltd, and that Sellafield will now become a 'subsidiary' of the NDA.

"Under the new arrangement, Sellafield Limited will become a subsidiary of the NDA and will continue to be led by a world class team, who will be appointed and governed by a newly-constituted Board of the Site Licence Company"

– Edward Davey, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change

He says that the "safe and secure operation of the Sellafield site" will remain a priority.

You can read his full statement here.

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Changes will 'simplify' Sellafield management

"New, simplified management plans" are to be introduced at Sellafield, the government has announced today.

It's released a statement saying the changes will streamline the relationship between Sellafield ltd and the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, following a year long review.

Here's some of the key points:

  • Nuclear Management Partners have lost ownership of Sellafield.
  • Instead, it'll be run by the NDA.
  • The day to day management of Sellafield will continue to be by an executive team
  • They will report to a new board.
  • The private sector will become a supplier to Sellafield Ltd

The NDA hopes these plans will improve performance and value for money:

“This decision is the result of careful consideration and review of various commercial approaches in use where the combination of public and private sector comes together to deliver complex programmes and taxpayer value.

“I believe we can build on progress to date and drive further improvements in performance and value for money by enhancing the capability of the Site Licensed Company (Sellafield Ltd) through a different approach.”

– John Clarke, NDA CEO

The NDA has said it anticipates the full co-operation of Nuclear Management Partners during the changes, which will take place over the next 12-15 months.

You can read the full statement here.

Sellafield clean-up company's contract to be terminated

Sellafield clean-up set to change Credit: ITV Border

The consortium responsible for the clean-up of Sellafield is to be replaced.

The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority confirmed that it has been working with the government and industry experts to pursue alternatives to the Nuclear Management Partners:

“The NDA has been working with Government and industry experts on alternative options at Sellafield.

This will deliver more effective progress in decommissioning the biggest and most complex nuclear site in Europe and provide the best outcome for the public.

No further information will be released until we have discussed this with all parties involved, including staff.”

– DECC Spokesperson

The Nuclear Management Partners first won the contract in 2008.

This contract was renewed in 2013 despite criticism after the National Audit Office and the House of Commons public accounts committee found the group had repeatedly missed deadlines and had gone over budget.

However it seems this contract has now been terminated.

The total cost of decommissioning is estimated to be around £6.75 billion and the consortium is responsible for 10,000 staff at Sellafield.

'We don't want nuclear waste arriving at Sellafield'

Anti-nuclear campaigners have been holding a demonstration at Carlisle railway station to highlight what they say are the dangers of atomic energy.

'Radiation Free Lakeland' group is protesting against the transportation and use of nuclear material in the North West. Nobody from the industry wanted to comment. The protestors claim there are risks to the environment and public health.

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Full report: National Grid proposals

It'll supply energy to millions of homes, create thousands of local jobs, and could change the West Cumbrian landscape forever, but time is running out if you want a say on how the proposed Moorside nuclear plant should be linked to the electricity network.

The new site, near Sellafield, would have three modern reactors. To get the electricity they generate into the national grid would take overhead power lines, offshore cabling, or a combination of both. The public has a little over two weeks to put their views forward.

Our correspondent Hannah McNulty has this report.

For more information on this project, click here.

All opinions to be considered for National Grid proposal

Credit: ITV Border

There's two weeks left on a consultation about how how to get electricity from planned new nuclear power station at Moorside, near Sellafield.

The public can have their say on how it would be connected to the rest of the country. Options include building power lines and tunnels for cables or an offshore route.

The charity Friends of the Lake District is opposing new pylons being built and backing the offshore option and National Grid say they'll listen to all opinions.

Two weeks left for public to have their say on National Grid proposals

Credit: ITV Border

There's two weeks left of a consultation about how to connect a proposed nuclear power station in west Cumbria into the grid.

National Grid are asking for opinions about different options for Moorside near Sellafield in west Cumbria. The site would generate electricity for six million homes.

A 12 week public consultation runs until 28th November. National Grid will then review and consider which option is being taken forward to the next stage of consultation.

"There are a number of options that we can use to make that connection, we absolutely have made no decisions and it's really important people tell us what they think so we can make the right decision to take the project to the next stage."

– Neil Lyons, the senior Project Manager

Double success for Sellafield sisters

The Kelly sisters are celebrating their successes in the nuclear industry. Credit: Sellafield Ltd

A Sellafield technician is celebrating winning 'best technician' just days after her sister won an 'Apprentice of the Year' award.

Lynsay, 22 from Whitehaven, was nominated by her employers for the Jack Edwards Prize for demonstrating outstanding performance for her role as a control systems engineer. The prize is awarded to the best technician in the nuclear industry and is in its tenth year.

It comes after her sister, 23-year-old Stephanie Kelly who is a trainee at Sellafield Ltd, won 'Apprentice of the Year' at this year's Golden Apple Awards.

Their achievements are a source of pride for father Alan Kelly, who also works at the Sellafield site:

“Both myself and my wife began our careers as apprentices at Sellafield in the early eighties, so when our daughters were offered advanced apprenticeships with Sellafield Ltd we were delighted and have encouraged them throughout their training.

We are very proud of their achievements in such early stages of their career, they have both committed themselves to do the best they can in their job and also work hard at their assignments and exams. We couldn’t ask for more than this as parents."

– Alan Kelly, father
Stephanie (left) and Lynsay are active ambassadors for women in engineering Credit: Sellafield Ltd
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