Contractor Amec has formed an alliance with the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority and nuclear decommissioning specialist CH2M Hill to pitch for work in the UK's £56bn nuclear clean-up market.
Twenty civil nuclear sites are being opened to competition by the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority. Work on the long-term clean-up operation is estimated to be worth £2bn a year.
About half of these sites are expected to be bid for by the end of 2008. One of the first contracts to go out to tender will be the clean-up of Drigg, a repository for low-level nuclear waste in Cumbria.
The partners will also explore international opportunities such as the multibillion-pound markets in eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union, building on the alliance partners' experience in these areas.
The move will enable UKAEA, a public sector company that has led a significant share of the UK's nuclear clean-up work, to compete on a stronger basis. It responds to the government's decision to open this market to competition.
CH2M Hill is an American firm that specialises in nuclear decommissioning.
It recently completed the shutdown of Rocky Flats, a former nuclear weapons facility near Denver, Colorado.