The NDA has a duty to monitor the performance of all plants within its ownership and the performance of the Sellafield MOX Plant (SMP) has been of concern to the NDA since its formation in 2005. The plant first went into production in 2002 and to date has failed to meet its throughput targets.
In considering options for the plant the NDA’s primary consideration is to achieve the best value for money for the taxpayer in the future. In this regard, we have had to consider recent performance, future potential capability and the views of customers.
Given recent improvements in plant performance and positive discussions with customers the NDA has concluded that, at this stage, the best course of action is the continued operation of SMP in pursuance of completing the current campaign of fuel manufacture.
The NDA has today written to Sellafield Ltd to advise them of our position and asking them to continue to deliver the current manufacturing campaign whilst seeking to improve operational performance. In parallel, International Nuclear Services, the commercial subsidiary of the NDA, is continuing to explore new commercial arrangements that would make the continuing operation of the plant economically acceptable to the NDA in the longer term.