Babcock Dounreay Partnership takes the helm

Babcock Dounreay Partnership (BDP) has today (Monday 2 April 2012) been formally awarded the contract to manage the decommissioning, demolition and clean-up of the Dounreay nuclear site, having officially taken ownership of Dounreay Site Restoration Ltd (DRSL). 

The contract, awarded to BDP (a joint venture between Babcock, CH2M Hill and URS) by the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA), takes immediate effect following the successful share transfer which took place on 1 April 2012, making BDP the new Parent Body Organisation for Dounreay.  This marks completion of one of the most significant public sector contracts to be awarded in 2012, and the event was attended by Secretary of State for Scotland Michael Moore, and Scottish Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and Environment Richard Lochhead.  

As DSRL’s new owner, BDP will be taking the decommissioning programme at Dounreay to what is called its interim end state, including removal of Dounreay’s landmark dome and other buildings, both accelerating the programme to achieve interim end state between 2022 and 2025 (up to 16 years earlier than the 2038 date estimated two years ago), and reducing project costs by well in excess of a billion pounds. 

 New key features of BDP’s management of the programme – which is the first major closure project in the UK – include a target cost incentive fee contract arrangement (involving sharing the risk with the NDA), an accelerated closure programme, a new project-focused working methodology, and a programme of support and mentoring for the local business community.  The company will also continue to contribute to the important on-going socio-economic programme to assist the regeneration of Caithness and North Sutherland. 

Today’s contract start date and official handover follows a successful four month transition period since BDP’s selection as preferred bidder, to prepare the incoming team to take on its responsibilities in a staged manner, with minimal impact on the continuity of work taking place at Dounreay.  

The transition phase has seen the appointment and introduction of the new management team, which includes Babcock, CH2M Hill, URS and DSRL personnel, led by Roger Hardy (formerly Babcock Managing Director Nuclear), who today becomes Managing Director Dounreay.  Further key elements of the transition included stakeholder engagement, completion of due diligence on the Dounreay Lifetime Plan, and finalisation of the contract with the NDA.  

Hardy comments: “We are delighted now to be officially in contract and able to implement BDP’s new vision for the Dounreay site, applying our international decommissioning and site management know-how, and proven technologies new to the UK, to tackle the difficult technical and programme management challenges involved in this major decommissioning and closure programme.  We will be reducing costs through introducing proven innovation, not just by doing the same thing better.  We will be setting new standards for decommissioning delivery and safety and we will be seeking to establish Dounreay as the European reference site for nuclear decommissioning and closure.  We look forward to working closely with DSRL to complete the closure programme safely and cost-effectively.” 

The NDA’s new Chief Executive Officer John Clarke, on his first day in the role, said:  “The Dounreay PBO competition is a tremendous success representing well over a billion pounds of savings for the UK Treasury.  Today marks the culmination of enormous effort to successfully complete one of the most important public sector contracts to be awarded this year.  As well as excellent value for money for the taxpayer we are confident this contract will bring exemplary operations at the site.”

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