The government has announced that the headquarters of a new agency devoted to dealing with the UK’s nuclear legacy is to be sited in West Cumbria.
In a statement to parliament, energy minister Brian Wilson said that West Cumbria was the preferred location for the new Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) which will manage the long term clean up of UK’s old nuclear installations.
‘West Cumbria’s history of involvement in the nuclear industry makes it the ideal location for the NDA. The wealth of experience and expertise available will be a invaluable resource for the Authority as it evolves,’ said Wilson.
‘These are exciting and challenging times for the nuclear industry and with the development of the NDA – the first decommissioning authority of its kind in Europe – I fully expect the West Cumbrian-based organisation to become a renowned centre of excellence in its field,’ added Wilson.
The NDA will manage the clean up of the nuclear installations currently managed by BNFL and the UK Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA).
Those managed by UKAEA include Dounreay, Windscale, Harwell and Winfrith. The magnox installations managed by BNFL are Wylfa, Oldbury, Sizewell A, Dungeness A, Hinkley Point A, Bradwell, Hunterston A, Trawsfynydd, Berkeley and Chapelcross.
Legislation to establish the NDA will be introduced in the current parliamentary session. It is anticipated the authority will be operational by April 2005.
The estimated cost of cleaning up the UK’s historic nuclear legacy is estimated at £1billion a year over the next 10 years and some £48 billion in total over the next 100 years.