Business and enterprise department aims to boost competition in run-up to nuclear new-build programme

The commercial arm of the UK’s Atomic Energy Authority is to be put up for sale by the government in a bid to boost competition in the run-up to the nuclear new-build programme.

The business and enterprise department said it was seeking a buyer for up to 100% of the issued share capital of the business - called UKAEA Ltd – that provides services including waste management and nuclear decommissioning.

Peter Mandelson, the business secretary, said: "As the UK moves towards an era of nuclear new build, this sale will increase efficiency, competition and value for money for the taxpayer in the decommissioning and clean up work of old nuclear power stations"

The government is also selling its 35% stake in British Energy to French power giant EDF.