National Audit Office reveals immense challenges at Sellafield

The Sellafield site in west Cumbria Credit: ITV Border

Some parts of Sellafield are so old, and have deteriorated so much, that their radioactive contents 'pose significant risks to people and their environment.'

That's the findings of a new report by the National Audit Office, which highlights what it calls 'the considerable challenge faced by the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority' in the clean up of the nuclear site at Sellafield.

The report acknowledges that the performance of some of the major projects at the west Cumbrian site has been poor, but also says that the owners of the site (the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority), have made progress and improvements since they took over in 2005. It says the NDA inherited a legacy of poor planning and neglect over decades.

Amyas Morse, head of the National Audit Office, said:

Jill Goldsmith from the National Audit Office compiled the report entitled Managing Risk Reduction at Sellafield, and acknowledged that although a clearer plan was now in place to deal with the challenges, much work remained to be done over the coming decades.

The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority has declined the opportunity to appear on camera, but welcomed the report and released this statement:

The National Audit Office presented their report to MPs on the Committee of Public accounts, The Rt Hon Margaret Hodge MP is the chair of the committee, she has raised her concerns about the report:

In response the NDA said:

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: