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Cumbria Nuclear Delivery Authority

Thursday, January 15, 2015

GMB Shop Stewards Meeting To Seek Cumbria Nuclear Delivery Authority To Promote Nuclear Renaissance At Sellafield To Help Power Nation

West Cumbria has some of the most highly skilled and experienced nuclear workers on the planet and they are best placed to deal with the waste and in return our members want a secure future says GMB.

150 GMB Shop Stewards from Sellafield are to meet on Friday 16th January to discuss the future of the site and their response to the sacking of NMP. See notes to editors for GMB press release on NMP.

Chris Jukes, GMB Senior Organiser, said "There is anger and concern amongst our members. Our membership feels like they are pawns in a big political game and it just isn't good enough. We want to see no repeat of the false start with NMP.

We will gauge opinion tomorrow and try and consider a campaign about the future of the site. We are not going to stand around waiting for outside parties to make the decision on the future of our members and the community.

GMB leaders will be proposing that we do focus positively on the future and launch a campaign designed to secure work for the West Cumbrian community for years to come.

The Government want West Cumbria to deal with the country's nuclear waste. That's fine, but we need an honest conversation. The truth is government has very few options on waste when most of the country's waste is at Sellafield already.

We have some of the most highly skilled and experienced nuclear workers on the planet and they are best placed to deal with the waste. In return our members want a secure future. There has been a lot of talk about new build in West Cumbria and future missions for the site. Nothing has been delivered.

We will be proposing that we set up a Cumbria Nuclear Delivery Authority that has real power to ensure Sellafield is at the centre of the nuclear renaissance and is helping power the nation.

This model to coordinate all parties to deliver agreed objectives seems to have worked for the Olympics and, back in time, for the redevelopment of Docklands in London. If it is good enough for London then it should be good enough for West Cumbria too.

The plutonium at Sellafield is an asset and not simply waste. The correct strategy is to turn the plutonium into fuel. We have enough plutonium stockpiled to make a major contribution to the UK’s energy needs for years to come. As part of a strategic plan for nuclear power Sellafield must be equipped to deal with the full nuclear fuel cycle.

We will debate our strategy tomorrow and announce the action we will be taking to secure the future after the Shop Stewards meeting."


Contact: Gary Smith 07710 618 909 or Chris Jukes 07870 176 733 or 0191 233 3930 or GMB press office 07921 289880

Notes to editors


After their experience with NMP support of members  should not be taken for granted as there is a real possibility that they will refuse to cooperate with the NDA or any incoming contractor says GMB 

GMB, the union for workers in the nuclear industry, has called a mass meeting of all GMB shop stewards on Friday morning 16th to consider the union’s formal position the announcement that the private sector becomes a supplier to the Site Licensed Company (Sellafield Ltd) rather than a parent of it.  See notes to editors for copy of Department of Energy and Climate Change press release 13 January 2015.

Gary Smith, GMB National Secretary for Energy, said “GMB has consistently called for NMP to be sacked.  However, NDA and Government should not take the support of GMB members for granted.  There is a real possibility that members will refuse to cooperate with the NDA or any incoming contractor.

We will be seeking views on industrial action on Friday.  Our members have been at the sharp end of NMP's mismanagement and we are sick to the back teeth of Government's failure to put a coherent strategy for the future of Sellafield on the table.  GMB leadership believes enough is enough.  We will also be debating a campaign to fight for the future of Sellafield, involving the whole community, at the mass meeting on Friday.

GMB also wants to know what is going to happen with the Tier 2 Contracts that NMP awarded to their own parent companies.  How can it right that AMEC, who have just been sacked as part of NMP, can still have hundreds of millions of pounds worth of work on site that they effectively awarded to themselves through NMP.

GMB also wants to know which Minister made the decision that overrode the NDA in extending the contract in 2013 .  The NDA had commissioned a report by KPMG, which we believe supported bring the contract in-house in 2013.  Around £2 Billion of tax payers' money has been squandered between 2013 and NMP being sacked today”.


Notes to editors

Copy of Department of Energy and Climate Change press release 13 January 2015.

Future management of Sellafield announcement

Managing the use and disposal of radioactive and nuclear substances and waste, Energy, Environment and Public safety and emergencies

New, simplified management arrangements to be introduced at Sellafield to ensure the long-term success of the clean-up programme.

New, simplified management arrangements will be introduced at Sellafield to ensure the long-term success of the clean-up programme at the Cumbrian site, the government announced today.

After a year-long review of the options, the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) has concluded that simplifying the relationship between the NDA and Sellafield Ltd will bring greater clarity and focus on achieving progress and value for money.

The new arrangements will build on the success of the approach taken to complex infrastructure projects such as London’s Crossrail and the Olympics.

Ed Davey, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, said “Sellafield is the biggest and most complex nuclear site in Europe, so it’s right that we keep the way it’s being managed under constant review. We have seen great examples of how this approach can work with Crossrail and the Olympics – and I’m confident we’ll see similar results at Sellafield.”

John Clarke, NDA’s CEO, said: “This decision is the result of careful consideration and review of various commercial approaches in use where the combination of public and private sector comes together to deliver complex programmes and taxpayer value.

“I believe we can build on progress to date and drive further improvements in performance and value for money by enhancing the capability of the Site Licensed Company (Sellafield Ltd) through a different approach.”

In the new arrangements, ownership of Sellafield Ltd reverts to the NDA from Nuclear Management Partners, the consortium that took control of Sellafield Ltd under contract to NDA in 2008.

The Sellafield Ltd Board will continue to consist of existing non-executive directors and key members of the current executive team, but over time will now also see the introduction of NDA appointed directors.

Reporting to this Board will be the Sellafield Ltd executive team which will continue to have day-to-day management responsibilities for the site.

The NDA’s recommendation is fully supported by DECC and the NDA anticipates the full co-operation of Nuclear Management Partners during the transition to new arrangements over the next 12-15 months.

A key feature of the new arrangements is for a “strategic partner” to be sought from the private sector to advise and assist the Sellafield Ltd executive team in the work necessary to take an overview of all site activities – these arrangements are similar to those successfully put in place by London’s Crossrail.

This means the private sector becomes a supplier to the Site Licensed Company (Sellafield Ltd) rather than a parent of it. Engagement with the supply chain at all levels will remain central to this new approach and key programmes of work will continue to be competitively let to the private sector.

The continued safe operation of the Sellafield site is paramount, and the NDA will continue to work closely with the Sellafield Ltd Managing Director and Executive team throughout this process. During this transition period NDA and Sellafield Ltd will engage with the Sellafield workforce, their trade unions, the regulators and other key stakeholders to ensure they are fully aware of the proposed structure and how it will be implemented.

Notes to editors

Sellafield consumes 60% of the NDA’s £3 billion annual budget and houses the vast majority of the UK’s civil nuclear waste. It also has commercial operating plants that support significant NDA income alongside historic waste stores and an enormous construction programme, all sharing an ageing infrastructure.

Sellafield Ltd is the Site Licensed Company that operates the Sellafield site under contract to the NDA.

Nuclear Management Partners is the consortium (comprising of AECOM, Amec Foster Wheeler and AREVA) that won the competition to become the Parent Body Organisation for Sellafield Ltd in 2008 for up to 17 years.

The existing model continues to work well elsewhere in the NDA’s estate where the challenges are better understood and suitable contracts have been developed:

A target cost contract at Dounreay is being delivered in line with all key milestones, whilst additional scope has been added that will see the site reach fuel free status decades sooner than assumed and deliver £1 billion of savings to the taxpayer

A similar contract recently let for the 12 sites in the Magnox/RSRL competition has potential savings of over £1 billion to be delivered as all sites are progressively decommissioned

We are now in the second five-year term of a cost reimbursable contract for the management of Low Level Waste arising from our estate and beyond, with 85% of waste now being diverted from the repository at a saving of £2 billion


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