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Sellafield to slash hundreds of jobs from three sites

Nuclear site Sellafield is to slash up to 1,250 jobs from three of its sites amid pressure to increase its efficiency and refocus its activities on high hazard waste reduction.

The figures equate to some 8.5% of total staff from its sites at Sellafield, Capanhurst and Risley. The first staff are due to leave in September.

Engineering union Prospect national secretary Mike Graham said that while 850 direct jobs would go, including the supply chain the figure would hit 1,250. In April, Sellafield employed 11,650 staff with another 3,100 through subcontractors.

“Staff will be given a 90-day consultation and then a month’s notice, so the first redundancies are not expected for another four months or so,” Graham said.

Sellafield refused to comment on the figures, but said that it and the relevant unions intended “to work together in partnership to deliver the optimum solution for our employees and members and to retain and develop the key nuclear skills that will be required for the future”.

“Our shared intention would be that any resulting redundancies would be on a voluntary basis,” it added.

The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) awarded £1.5bn to Sellafield for 2010-2011 − £100M more than last year − which was to help the site focus on high hazard waste reduction.

The NDA said Sellafield would “defer” lower priority work to focus on high hazard reduction.

“We require all of our sites to deliver efficiencies so we can maximise resources to progress the clean up and decommissioning mission,” it said.

The move follows an announcement by nuclear site Dounreay in March that it would be seeking a 20% in overheads over the next three years to meet pressures on its annual spend.

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