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$94bn nuclear clean-up contracts to be bundled

CONTRACTS TO manage the UK's ú50bn nuclear clean-up operation are to be bundled together into multi-billion pound packages and let within six years, the country's new decommissioning boss said this week.

The government had ordered its new Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) to tender site management contracts for half of Britain's 20 civil nuclear sites by 2008.

But NDA chairman Sir Anthony Cleaver told NCE this week that he aims to press ahead with letting the remaining contracts by 2011.

The NDA has been created with the prime objective of decommissioning the UK's nuclear legacy, ' Cleaver said. 'We want to engage private sector contractors in addressing that task as soon as practicable.' To ensure that competition is fi ce, Cleaver said contracts would be bundled together.

'We envisage there being no more than two to three Tier One [site management] contractors across the country, ' Cleaver said.

The NDA assumes ownership of sites currently operated by British Nuclear Fuels (BNFL) and the UK Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA) on 1 April, when it will act as client for an estimated $94bn worth of nuclear clean up work.

The site management contractors will work under incentivised cost-reimbursement ontracts, and will be responsible for determining, with the NDA, the best approach to decommissioning the liabilities for which they are responsible.

They will have the option of carrying out main contracting operations themselves, or of acting as clients and engaging main contractors to tackle work for them, said Cleaver.

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