Nuclear Decommissioning Authority: priorities and progress

NDA's priorities and progress are outlined in our Strategy, Business Plan, Performance Reports, and Annual Report and Accounts.

Our top priorities are safety, security, environmental responsibility and providing value for taxpayers’ money.

Plans for decommissioning and clean-up activities on our sites are based on our Strategy and the budget allocated to NDA.

These activities are:

  • outlined in advance in our Business Plan
  • reported on during the year
  • reported on at the end of the year in our Annual Report and Accounts

Our work programme is moving at speed and we have made significant progress, including reducing the risks around our most hazardous sites.

What we have achieved so far…

Since our creation in 2005, we have:

  • developed a detailed understanding of the legacy and produced the first-ever UK-wide strategy for tackling it
  • prioritised funds towards the highest hazards
  • reshaped the industry and introduced international delivery partners
  • delivered value for money by driving performance and efficiency
  • maximised income to reduce cost to taxpayers – over £10 billion of income in the last nine years – including £470 million from land sales to new nuclear operators
  • invested in skills to build the future capability of the UK’s nuclear workforce
  • developed our approach to open and transparent engagement with stakeholders
  • worked with communities in priority areas to help them plan for sustainable futures

What we expect to achieve in the future…

During the next 10 years we expect…

  • all Magnox stations defuelled and spent fuel reprocessed to long-term stable form
  • 4 Magnox sites to have entered Care and Maintenance
  • progress on high hazard reduction, including retrievals from Legacy Ponds and Silos at Sellafield
  • all NDA’s non-core assets to have been disposed of

During the next 20 years we expect…

  • all other Magnox sites to have entered Care and Maintenance
  • decommissioning to have been completed at Harwell and Winfrith
  • at Dounreay, all Intermediate Level Waste (ILW) to have been removed from the shaft and all residues removed from the Dounreay Fast Reactor (DFR)
  • the Plutonium Contaminated Material (PCM) facilities to have been removed at the Low Level Waste Repository in Cumbria
  • confirmation of a site’s suitability to host a Geological Disposal Facility (GDF)


The Energy Act 2004 requires that we review and publish our Strategy at least every 5 years. UK government and the Scottish Ministers approved our latest Strategy in April 2016.

The final Strategy incorporates stakeholder views, feedback and responses to the consultation on our draft Strategy.

We use 5 themes to deliver programmes of work.

We develop options and make recommendations within these programmes of work. Our stakeholders help develop these credible options and the preferred option on a range of issues within the programmes of work.

  1. NDA Strategy

Business Plans

Every year we invite comments on our draft Business Plan which:

  • reflects the Strategy published in 2016
  • sets out key activities and the progress the NDA expects across all its sites during the next 3 years, in line with the funding allocated by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS)

We seek to maintain progress and maximise value for money by focusing on the highest hazards, whilst ensuring that safe, secure and environmentally responsible site operations are maintained across our estate.

Our current Business Plan includes a 20 year overview and planned activities for the next 3 years.

Specific targets sit behind this planned activity. Progress against these Business Plan targets for the current year is published in our Quarterly Performance Reports.

In-year Performance Report against Business Plan

We publish a mid-year report on the status of progress against our business plan targets. This report also summarises safety information for the same period.

We give details on any reportable incidents and environmental impact that has occurred at an NDA site in the reporting period.

Annual Report and Accounts

In 2016 to 2017 there was significant progress on hazard reduction, particularly at Sellafield.

Performance highlights included:

  • over £1 billion in revenue generated through commercial activity
  • despite £100 million in legal and settlement costs arising from the Magnox litigation, the NDA stayed within its allocated budget of £3.3 billion
  • NDA’s decision to make Sellafield Ltd a wholly owned subsidiary is delivering increased value for the UK taxpayer, with over £200 million in savings made in 2016/17 at the Sellafield site
  • contaminated waste at Sellafield is being removed from some of the oldest facilities and treated, packaged and safely stored
  • the Magnox Bradwell site in Essex, is close to becoming the first nuclear site in the UK to complete all its near-term decommissioning and enter into a ‘Care and Maintenance’ phase
Published 3 August 2015
Last updated 13 December 2018 + show all updates
  1. Added Annual Report 2017 to 2018
  2. Latest mid-year report uploaded.
  3. Added Annual Report and Accounts 2016 to 2017
  4. Added the Business Plan 2017 to 2020
  5. Includes NDA: Quarterly Performance Report Quarter 2 status for 2016-17
  6. NDA: Quarterly Performance Report Quarter 1 status for 2016-17added
  7. Quarterly Performance Report - Quarter 4 2015-16 added
  8. Added the 2015 to 2016 Annual Report and Accounts to this collection.
  9. Added Priority Programmes and Major Projects Performance Report (data as at September 2015)
  10. Changed link so that latest Strategy is available from this page and added link to the Business Plan for 2016 to 2019.
  11. Quarterly Performance report Quarter 3 status for 2015-16 published
  12. NDA: Quarterly Performance Report Quarter 2 status for 2015-16 published.
  13. First published.