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NDA Reports on a Year of Progress in Performance and Delivery in 2011/12 Annual Report & Accounts

Submitted by on July 10, 2012 – 9:13 pmNo Comment

Significant progress in decommissioning coupled with real savings for the taxpayer mark a year of solid progress for the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority.

A new clean up plan for the Magnox fleet – the first generation of nuclear power stations to supply electricity to the National Grid – is now well underway that will accelerate decommissioning progress at two sites, Bradwell in Essex and Trawsfynydd in Snowdonia, and reduce decommissioning timeframes by more than 30 years in total across all Magnox sites.

This new program is expected to deliver savings of more than £1.3 billion, with £0.2 billion savings reported for the past financial year.

In other highlights set out in the Annual Report and Accounts 2011/2012 published July 5, 2012, the selection of a new private sector operator for the Dounreay nuclear site in Caithness will reduce the cost to the taxpayer of cleaning up the site by more than £1 billion and speed up the decommissioning timeframe by up to 16 years.

Meanwhile, performance in Sellafield’s operational plants over the last 12 months has been strong with throughputs at both the Vitrification and THORP reprocessing plants at their highest ever levels under NDA stewardship. The publication of the first Sellafield Performance Plan will provide a vital benchmark to assess the progress of activities at the NDA’s priority site in West Cumbria.

Commercial income generation of £1.263 billion in the year surpassed NDA’s target by £161 million, as a result of additional income from spent fuel management and reprocessing, electricity generation and land sales. The last year has seen both reactors at Oldbury in Gloucestershire close and there is now only one operating reactor at Wylfa in Anglesey which could be further extended to 2014. Both sites had their reactor lives extended beyond planned closure dates and this has contributed positively to income generation.

John Clarke, NDA CEO, said, “I am pleased to report that performance over the last 12 months has been generally good across all our sites, against challenging targets. We continue to perform strongly in terms of income generation and introducing efficiencies both within the organisation and across the wider estate while maintaining progress on the core mission. I am particularly pleased with some excellent outcomes in the decommissioning and operational areas. We remain very focussed on seeking improvements in the delivery of major projects across our estate, where we currently have 145 projects underway that are above £100 million in value.”

An operational highlight at Sellafield has been the decommissioning of the first ever industrial-scale reactor to be fully decommissioned in the UK. The Windscale Advanced Gas-Cooled Reactor (WAGR) – known locally as the golf ball – is now decommissioned after a pioneering 20-year project. WAGR was built in the early 1960s and was a forerunner to the UK’s second generation of nuclear reactors.

In another first for Sellafield, spent fuel was retrieved from the Pile Fuel Storage Pond that holds residual fuel from the first reactors built on the site, for the first time in 50 years. This work is contributing to the planned completion of the retrieval of material from the legacy ponds and silos, the NDA’s highest hazards, which are being brought forward by some 32 project years.

Looking to the future, there are a number of key challenges for the NDA including:

  • Delivering a new parent body for the Magnox and Research sites through a competition
  • Ensuring that the targets in the Sellafield and Dounreay Plans are met thereby reducing hazards and long term costs
  • Working with the supply chain to help stimulate the local economies within which we operate
  • Completing the transfer of the Capenhurst site to URENCO
  • Progress plans to deliver the UK’s Geological Disposal Facility
  • Provide advice to Government in assessing the waste and decommissioning plans for the next generation of UK nuclear reactors

For more information or to download the Reports, visit www.nda.gov.uk

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