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Britain’s nuclear industry in turmoil over botched contracts

judge-1flag-UKUK nuclear industry hit by fresh turmoil, Gill Plimmer August 26, 2016  Britain’s nuclear industry has been hit by fresh turmoil after the government said it was planning to appeal against a ruling that it had botched a £7bn contest to clean up toxic power plants, while another company threatened to bring legal action.

A High Court judge ruled on July 29 that the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority had acted unlawfully in the way it awarded a contract to dismantle and make safe 12 of the UK’s first-generation nuclear power stations. The decision leaves the government agency exposed to multimillion pound claims for damages.

The initial court challenge was brought by Energy Solutions, the US-based company that lost the contract after managing the nuclear sites for 14 years, but on Friday another US contractor, Bechtel , said it would also take legal action. Other losing companies or consortiums, such as Ch2MHill and Serco, are expected to follow.

Bechtel is understood to be seeking compensation for the loss of future earnings but others may just seek to recoup bid costs, which are estimated at £15m per consortium……….

 The fiasco raises fresh questions over the way government entities hand out multibillion-pound contracts as well as casting further doubt on the UK’s nuclear industry at a time when the government is reviewing the £18bn Hinkley Point project.It has also prompted concerns over the future of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, which was already under scrutiny after the government scrapped the outsourced management contract to run Britain’s biggest nuclear waste site — Sellafield in Cumbria.

John Clarke, chief executive of the NDA, announced this month his intention to retire next year………

August 27, 2016 - Posted by | Legal, UK

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