Sellafield Ltd, under NMP ownership, is responsible for safely delivering decommissioning of the UK’s nuclear legacy as well as fuel recycling and the management of low, high and intermediate level nuclear waste activities at Sellafield on behalf of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority.
Nuclear Decommissioning Authority
The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) is a non-departmental public body created through the Energy Act 2004. It is a strategic authority that owns 19 sites, including Sellafield, and the associated civil nuclear liabilities and assets of the public sector, previously under the control of United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA) and British Nuclear Fuels Ltd (BNFL).
Sellafield is one of the most complex nuclear sites in the world. In the 1940s it supported the UK’s World War II efforts before hosting the world’s first nuclear power station in 1956. Since the 1990s Sellafield has been a facility for the storage and treatment of nuclear waste and under the ownership of the NDA, work on decommissioning began in 2005.
Clean-up operations at Sellafield are complex due to factors including the age of the facilities and the condition of the waste they contain. When decommissioning began the site was still focussing on commercial reprocessing and waste management. Consequently, minimal funding delayed real decommissioning progress until the formation of the NDA and the appointment of NMP, which shifted the emphasis to accelerated clean-up and decommissioning. Major plant renovation work is further complicated by the close proximity of hazardous operations to each other. Further, the events of Fukushima have meant new and even more demanding standards of safety.