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Sellafield plans new £1.5bn framework for decommissioning specialists

2 Jul 14 Sellafield Ltd is looking for specialist suppliers to help with nuclear decommissioning at its Cumbria site. The work will be for 10 years and will be valued at up to £1.5bn.

It is advertising for specialist contractors to join its decommissioning delivery partnership (DDP), a framework of prequalified firms that can be called on.

Chief decommissioning officer Jack DeVine explained: “Our job in decommissioning is very simple and very, very important – it is to accelerate risk-and hazard-reduction at Sellafield.  To help us complete this clean-up mission, and building on our own experience, we are adding a new dimension to our engagement with the supply chain.  Essentially we will put in place a commercial mechanism so that we can very quickly and efficiently pull together specialist resources for decommissioning work to supplement our existing workforce.

“Some 11,000 people work at Sellafield and I have no doubt that there is nowhere else in the world with the same concentration of nuclear experience and skills.  However, we’ve committed to accelerating the clean-up of Sellafield and to do this we need external assistance to carry out specialist work that we can’t cover with our own in-house workforce.”

Sellafield Ltd currently receives decommissioning services through a four-year decommissioning framework agreement (DFA2), which was awarded to Astrel, Cumbria Nuclear Solution Ltd, DEV Nuclear and Nuvia Ltd in June 2011. Sellafield said that while this arrangement had been helpful, four-year frameworks “do not permit adequate continuity in the long-term for complex programmes such as decommissioning”.

Project manager Angela Mackintosh said: “Awarding a longer-term 10-year arrangement provides better security of demand for the supply chain which in turn drives innovation and provides socio-economic benefits through investment in people, technology and infrastructure.

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“We want to see positive wider economic benefits to the local community from the enormous amount of public money spent at Sellafield.  To get maximum benefit for every pound spent, we would like our suppliers to commit to the local area and help to grow the local supply chain.  This in turn should improve the skill base of the local area and create new business opportunities which will be a win-win for everyone.”

Preferred suppliers are expected to be selected in mid 2015.

The work has been split into three lots and the consortia chosen will work with Sellafield Ltd to provide services including: surveying and assessing jobs; planning and engineering; decontamination; manufacturing and installation of plant and equipment; dismantling and demolitions, and waste management. 

Ian Whitehouse, head of commercial for decommissioning, said: “There are opportunities for suppliers big and small to work together in consortiums to bid for the separate lots which are focused on our legacy ponds and silos at Sellafield.”

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