News story

Documents supporting new management arrangements

We have published a suite of documents that explain more fully the rationale behind the decision to change the management arrangements at Sellafield.

These documents provide a more detailed analysis of the issues considered during the review process and how they shaped the final decision announced by the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change.

Following a detailed review of the management model at Sellafield, supported by independent experts, the Government announced on 13 January 2015 that it agreed with our recommendation to change the management arrangements at Sellafield. Under these new arrangements Sellafield Ltd continues to operate the site but will no longer be under the temporary ownership of a private sector contractor called a Parent Body Organisation (PBO). Instead, ownership will belong to the NDA and Sellafield Ltd will acquire a ‘Strategic Partner’ to assist in the delivery of its programme. In simple terms, the private sector becomes a supplier to Sellafield Ltd rather than a parent of it.

This decision is the result of careful consideration and review of various commercial approaches in use where the public and private sector comes together to deliver complex programmes. Although Sellafield Ltd has continued to make progress, it is now clear that Sellafield’s complexity and technical uncertainties present significantly greater challenges than other NDA sites and mean that it is less well suited to the full site-wide transfer of responsibility to the private sector via a PBO structure. The ongoing safe operation of the Sellafield site is paramount and we will continue to work closely with Sellafield Ltd and Nuclear Management Partners throughout this process.

As part of our engagement with our stakeholders, we hope publication of these documents will aid understanding of the changes being made.

There are limited redactions within the documents relating to sensitive information which fall within scope of the following FOI exemptions, s.36 Prejudice ability to conduct public affairs, s.40 “personal information”, 43(2) Commercial.

Sellafield Options: Outline Business Case – November 2014

The Outline Business Case is a 121 page, 25,000 word document that lays out the three main benefits delivered by the change:

  • a more appropriate placing of the interface between the public and private sectors, with scope only transferred into the private sector at a point where it can be properly specified and incentivised
  • more focused and agile engagement of the private sector in the form of a Strategic Partner to enhance capability and capacity in Sellafield Ltd
  • increased clarity and alignment of leadership from NDA through the Sellafield Ltd Board into its executive team focused solely on delivery of the NDA mission

NDA Board Paper: Preferred option for engaging the private sector at Sellafield – 26 November 2014

The Board paper summarises the case for change made in the Outline Business Case to allow the NDA Board to agree to make a formal recommendation to Government.

Letter from John Clarke, NDA CEO to Stephen Lovegrove Permanent Secretary DECC – 17 December 2014

This 19 page letter explains the rationale behind the NDA’s recommendation to change the management arrangements at Sellafield.

Letter from Stephen Lovegrove, DECC Permanent Under-Secretary of State to John Clarke, NDA CEO – 12 January 2015

This letter confirms that Ministers at DECC and HM Treasury have approved the decision based on the NDA’s recommendation.