Three-thousand jobs at risk and UK’s clean-up programme under threat due to £160m deficit

Over 3,000 jobs are at risk because of a budgeting crisis at the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, the body that funds clean-up of the UK’s nuclear facilities.

The Independent on Sunday reported yesterday that the NDA has given decommissioning groups British Nuclear Group and UKAEA nine days to come up with a list of decommissioning projects to scrap due to a £160m shortfall in funding.

Unions have now written to Trade and Industry secretary Alistair Darling to protest at the lack of transparency over the shortfall, which was only revealed last month.

The crisis threatens to undermine the UK’s clean-up programme, as the projects which will be dropped would have been due to go ahead in the financial year beginning this April.

The newspaper reports that contractors preparing to bid for the £5bn Sellafield clean-up project - the biggest contract yet - are likely to demand higher profit margins as they want compensation for the risk of their work being cancelled in the future.