Spending watchdog finds consortium of Amec, Areva and URS is set to achieve £652m of savings, but this is £144m short of its target


The management of Sellafield is set to fall £144m short of its target for saving money on the decommissioning programmes for the nuclear site, a report by the National Audit Office has found.

Sellafield Limited is run by Nuclear Management Partners (NMP), a consortium of engineers Amec, Areva and URS, who won the right to run the multi-billion pound decommissioning programme in 2008.

Sellafield Limited is paid bonuses, which are then in part paid to NMP for meeting its savings targets.

The consortium was set a target of achieving £796m of savings over the first five years and in October 2012 was on track to exceed that target by £29m.

However, today’s report reveals that Sellafield is in fact only expected to make savings of £652m - £144m short of its £796m savings target - and will not even hit a revised savings target of £699m, which was introduced after the scope of work encompassed by the target was reduced.

Earlier this month NMP was awarded a five-year extension to its contract to manage the site despite having earlier drawn stinging criticism from the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA), which awards the contract.

The NAO report also found that the NDA’s systems for recording, scrutinising and challenging claimed site-wide savings at Sellafield provided “moderate assurance of reported overall savings”.

The NDA acknowledged that targets had been missed but pointed to the huge sums still saved.

It said: “This confirms the NDA’s view that whilst performance at Sellafield has not been as good as desired, significant progress has been made.”