Government needs to take back control of nuclear clean-up programme, says Unite
28 February 2018
The government needs to take back control of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA), following a searing report by MPs highlighting the costly failures in the nuclear clean-up contract.
Unite, the country’s largest union, made the call following the Public Accounts Committee’s (PAC) report that accused the NDA of failing in the procurement and management of the contract to decommission two nuclear research sites and 10 Magnox sites.
The High Court ruled in 2016 that the NDA had failed to treat all bidders the same when it awarded the 2014 contract to clean up the Magnox reactors to Cavendish Fluor Partnership (CFP). The successful High Court challenge came from failed bidder EnergySolutions.
Unite acting national officer for energy Peter McIntosh said: “Unite is calling for ministers to put the NDA out of its misery and take back control centrally to ensure the taxpayer and the workforce do not have to pay the heavy price for the government and the NDA's past failings.
“The NDA’s reputation for competence and prudence with the taxpayers’ cash is in shreds. The government does not get away scot free as it allowed the bosses at the NDA to award the contract in the first place and failed subsequently to exercise sufficient oversight.
“However, on balance, the government is better placed to chart a strategic way forward when CFP ends its involvement in the contract in August 2019 and to provide the leadership necessary over the clean-up programme as the NDA lacks credibility.
“The NDA status as a non-departmental public body of the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has come to the end of the road.
“This financial debacle has cost the hard-pressed taxpayer up to £122 million and such financial mismanagement can’t ever be repeated.
"We look forward with great interest to the final recommendations of the Magnox inquiry when it is completed later this year. We expect a vigorous and trenchant report into what went so wrong over the awarding of this contract and to future arrangements."
Notes to editors:
For more information please contact Unite senior communications officer Shaun Noble on 020 3371 2060 or 07768 693940. Unite press office is on: 020 3371 2065
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Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with over 1.4 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.