Chief Executive Tony Fountain: We face a future of change
Change has been a feature of the nuclear industry since the NDA was established five years ago, and this looks set to continue for some time to come.
One very significant change has come with the arrival of the Coalition Government and I was delighted to have had the opportunity to host a visit from the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Chris Huhne and Energy Minister Charles Hendry, who, within a fortnight of taking office, sought to see at first-hand the issues associated with nuclear decommissioning.
The tour of Sellafield provided the opportunity to demonstrate the progress being made, as well as outlining the challenges that lie ahead in taking forward the unique programmes of work designed to tackle the hazards left behind by the early nuclear research and power generation programme. The timing of the visit was of particular importance because of the Government’s impending review of all public spending.
We have been working hard with DECC and Treasury to explore a range of options in order to find the right balance between making progress on our mission and providing value for money within the affordability constraints. We have a clear, full picture of the challenges, and are confident that the private-sector expertise introduced to our sites through competitively tendered contracts leaves us well-placed to address the issues through strong performance, efficiency and innovation.
Our focus across all sites has been on preserving essential work to reduce the highest hazards, while deferring less critical programmes. We also believe it is vital to protect the skills base for future work that will still need to be carried out.
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