UK Government Considers Revoking Sellafield Cleanup Contract

As the five-year mark approaches for Britain's largest nuclear cleanup contract, the UK's government has suggested it might pull the work back into the public sector.

Sellafield. Source: Simon LedinghamThe country awarded a 17-year contract to Amec, Areva and URS to lead the decommissioning of contaminated weapons and nuclear power facilities at the Sellafield site. Last week, The Telegraph reported that the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority is in the process of reviewing its arrangement with the consortium, known as Nuclear Management Partners, ahead of a March 2014 deadline to continue the contract. The agency told the newspaper it will consider moving the work back under NDA management and is drafting plans for running the project itself. Other options include renegotiating the current contract or rebidding it. A decision is expected in September.

The NDA's actions follow a recent $1 million fine levied against the consortium for an incident that involved low-level radioactive waste shipped to a standard landfill. The Telegraph also reported that the companies' fees will soon be cut for missing 10 of 32 targets identified for a period spanning parts of 2012 and 2013. The first five years of the contract are valued at $34 million, according to Nuclear Management Partners, which maintains that it has made significant progress at the site.

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