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N-commissioning contract faces change

Pressure from MPs has forced the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) to consider changing its contract with Sellafield operator Nuclear Management Partners (NMP).

The NDA signed a 17 year agreement with the Nuclear Management Partners consortium of URS, Amec and Areva worth £1.3bn per year in 2008.

But last month the Commons public accounts committee attacked the deal under which NMP is paid regardless of results saying it is poor value for money (NCE 7 February).

In the last financial year the consortium was paid £54M in fees, even though only two out of 14 major projects on the site were on schedule.

The committee also questioned the consortium’s claim for £28M in salaries for staff seconded in from its own member companies to carry out special projects.

The NDA said it had listened to the committee’s concerns and asked NMP to explain its use of these so-called “reachback” agreements.

It said it was “satisfied” that it should pay for those skills “where appropriate”, but was looking at making changes nonetheless.

“The NDA is looking at potential changes and will report to NMP by September,” said a NDA spokesman.

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