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Magnox to face cuts in decommissioning plans

Chief executive of the Nuclear Decommissioing Authority (NDA) Tony Fountain has admitted that: “Not everything” can be done to accelerate the closure of remaining Magnox stations - some sites will see work accelerate while others will move to a steady-state.

The NDA’s new business plan, issued today, contains £2.8bn spending plans for the coming year and proposals for the next round of public spending, starting in 2011.

Fountain said in the introduction: “One of the most difficult challenges for us is prioritising our work in the context of available funding and, whilst our bias is always towayds high hazard reduction activities, we still have some tough decisions to make.

“For example, we would very much like to accelerate at least some of the Magnox sites into Care and Maintenance but we have to balance this against the high cost of tackling hazards that are a national priority,” he said.

For the coming year, however, the £2.8bn spend will be focused mostly on the Sellafield site, which will receive £1.5bn of funds.

This includes completing the Evaporator D structure - which reduces the Highly Active Liquid waste stored on site and is the biggest construction project anywhere in the UK nuclear industry, estimated to cost £400M.

Proposals for 2011 and beyond will be considered by any new government for the next comprehansive spending review round.


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