Engineering giants Bechtel and Fluor eye up £50bn of nuclear work in the UK.

Britain's £50bn nuclear clean-up looks set to be dominated by American engineering giants including Bechtel and Fluor.

Reports this morning claim that the two firms are lining up alongside CH2Hill, which has set up a consortium with the UK Atomic Energy Authority and EnergySolutions, which has just bought British Nuclear Group's American arm for £46m.

The first tender in the process will probably be to manage the Drigg nuclear waste site near Sellafield, but decommissioning will be required at a number of sites and power plants such as Hunterston A, Hinkley Point A and Bradwell.

News of the likely bidders comes as BNG, which operates Sellafield, prepares for privatisation, with the major American players at the head of the pack to buy it.

Chief executive Lawrie Haynes said: "There are many reasons for placing BNG inside the ownership of a major business. We need a partner with project management skills and bidding skills who can bring in new people and allow our existing staff to widen their career opportunities."