Government decision thwarts plans of major engineers that wanted to buy BNG as a single entity

The government has confirmed it is to break up British Nuclear Group rather than sell it as a single entity.

Trade and Industry secretary Alistair Darling confirmed the decision today, saying that ministers had approved plans put forward by the BNG board. The move will come as a blow to major engineers including Fluor, which recently made a £500m bid for BNG in its entirety.

Darling also announced that the government will establish a national nuclear laboratory to safeguard the UK’s nuclear skills capacity.

Darling said: “I have given the sale of BNG careful consideration and I have met with interested parties. I have concluded that there are real benefits to the project services and magnox businesses in separating them from the process of choosing the right contractor for Sellafield.”