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Sellafield clean-up shortlist next month

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CONTRACTORS BIDDING to decommission the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority's (NDA) Sellafi eld site will learn whether they have been short listed next month, the Authority said this week.

They will then be invited to enter a competitive dialogue process to take over ownership of the site plus a site at Capenhurst.

Consortiums entered expressions of interest to own the shares of the firm running the nuclear site by 2 February and are now waiting to hear if they will be invited to discussions with the NDA next week.

Sellafield is currently owned by British Nuclear Group's Sellafield Site License Company (SLC).

The contract being tendered is to own the SLC shares for five years between 2008 and 2013, which, on its current turnover of £1.4bn would be worth £56M per year in share dividends.

'We are pleased with the number of respondents we have had, ' said Richard Jones, the NDA's competition project manager.

'We will be looking for the successful firm to enhance the performance of the SLC by a variety of methods, particularly the secondment of key staff on to the SLC's board.' Firms already confirmed to be bidding include US construction giant Fluor, a consortium of Serco, Bechtel and BWXT and CH2M Hill.

Others thought to have registered interest include Washington International, Energy Solutions and Amec.

British Nuclear Group has ruled itself out so it can focus on other key areas of its business.

The extended competitive dialogue process will start from the middle of March and will last until early next year, when firms will then be invited to submit tenders.

Final award will be in the second half of 2008, followed by transition period of ownership from British Nuclear Group.

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