NDA dialogue opens for £7 billion contract

NDA has confirmed that four global organisations are set to embark on the next phase of the £multi-billion competition to run 12 historic nuclear sites.

An eight-month period of formal dialogue with the NDA starts next month (Feb), providing each of the bidding teams with opportunities to gather information during a series of face-to-face meetings. Site visits are also being organised, enabling the prospective bidders to see at first hand the challenges that will help to inform their tender proposals.

Following the NDA’s invitation to take part in the dialogue, the NDA has confirmed the configuration of the final consortia who wish to proceed:

  • Reactor Site Solutions (Bechtel, EnergySolutions)
  • The Babcock Fluor Partnership
  • CAS Restoration Partnership (CH2M Hill, Areva, Serco)
  • AMEC/Atkins

Valued at around £7 billion in total, award of the contract for ownership of Magnox Ltd and Research Sites Restoration Ltd (RSRL) represents one of the UK’s largest public procurement exercises.

The competition will run over two years, with completion scheduled for 2014, and see ownership of both companies transfer to a new organisation with the skills and experience to take forward a decommissioning programme worth £4-5 billion over the next seven years and almost £2 billion for the following seven years.

Following the dialogue phase, designed to assist bidders in the preparation of detailed proposals, the NDA will issue an invitation to submit final tenders.

The NDA’s Competition Manager Steve Dixon said:

“We are pleased to be entering this critical phase of the competition, which is vital in helping the prospective bidders to understand our requirements and to put their proposals together. It will have a major impact on ensuring we achieve the best possible outcome for the Magnox and RSRL sites.”

Nine of the Magnox sites in Scotland, Wales and England are nuclear power stations that have stopped generating and are in various stages of decommissioning, while one, Wylfa on Anglesey, is still generating electricity but is expected to close by 2014. Magnox Ltd is currently owned by EnergySolutions.

The two RSRL sites at Harwell and Winfrith are former research centres that housed some of the UK’s earliest experimental reactors but are now well advanced in their decommissioning programmes. RSRL is currently owned by Babcock International Group.

Competition is central to the NDA’s strategy for securing world-class skills and experience to drive forward decommissioning across its estate. The latest procurement process is expected to last around two years and will lead to the appointment of a new PBO who will take ownership of shares in the two Site Licence Companies for the period of the contract, and oversee management of decommissioning activities at the 12 sites.