The UK government has terminated a £9bn contract to Nuclear Management Partners (NMP) consortium to clean up the nuclear waste site at Sellafield.
The move comes as NMP consortium has been accused by the Public Accounts Committee and the National Audit Office of cost overruns and delays.
A DECC spokesperson said: “Ed Davey has been very clear that he’s wanted to see more effective progress in decommissioning the biggest and most complex nuclear site in Europe, providing the best outcome for the taxpayer.”
Davey said transition to the new arrangements would take 15 months.
NMP, which owns and operates Sellafield Ltd on behalf of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, was awarded a 17-year contract to clean up the nuclear waste site at Sellafield in 2008.
NMP was granted a five-year extension to its contract in 2013.
Iain Irving, NMP – “We are surprised and naturally disappointed, especially in light of the considerable progress made at Sellafield since NMP was awarded the contract in 2008″
Iain Irving, NMP general manager, said: “We are surprised and naturally disappointed, especially in light of the considerable progress made at Sellafield since NMP was awarded the contract in 2008.
“NDA has made it very clear that it is the contractual model that it is being revised and has acknowledged the progress made by NMP over the last six years.
“Accordingly, we would like to highlight that since the NDA extended our contract to lead Sellafield Ltd in October 2013 extensive progress has been achieved by NMP and the site licence company, of which we are extremely proud. Also, the last 12 months have seen some of the Site’s highest levels of performance, whilst, over the last two years we have consecutively achieved the Site’s best overall safety records.
“During NMP’s tenure of the contract, we have achieved savings to the UK taxpayer of over £650m and we have invested around £23m from our fee in West Cumbria, making a real difference to the local community.
“Ultimately, we all share the same goal – the safe and secure operation of the Sellafield site. We will be working closely with the NDA in the light of this decision to determine the way forward and ensure that the significant progress and momentum that has been built on site during the last six years continues over the coming year and beyond.”