News story

Nuclear industry learns Olympics lessons

Lessons learned by hosting the London Olympics


Staging the London Olympics required unprecedented levels of co-ordination and planning, with issues ranging from financial and project controls to construction and infrastructure as well as political and cultural sensitivities – plus much more.

Sellafield Ltd, the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) and the supply chain have benefited from a ‘lessons learned’ session presented by the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) team and their delivery Partner CLM, who were in Cumbria for a series of half-day events last month.

The presentations focused on three key areas of Commercial, Project Controls and Delivery, with one of the recurrent themes being ‘Do the basics well and with rigour’ and centred on how the delivery programme was managed.

More than 250 senior delegates took advantage of the opportunity to attend the presentations and question the ODA team about details of the complex, multi-billion pound programme.

Event organiser Sean Moules, of the NDA, said: “When reading about the Olympics, I was immediately struck by the huge number of parallels with the Sellafield site – when you look at factors such as the numbers employed, the rate of spend, the security and stakeholder aspects, funding mechanisms, brownfield site issues, project control aspects and a host of other metrics, both programmes have major similarities.

“The sessions gave us a valuable insight into the scale of the programme and how it was delivered. The feedback I’ve had so far has been extremely positive and there has been interest from other site licensed companies as well. ”

NDA Chief Executive John Clarke said: “Thanks to all those who attended both to share their experience and to learn from that sharing. Although there are clearly major differences between delivering the Olympics and the nuclear complexities at Sellafield, there are also many parallels where large-scale challenges have been addressed and overcome, and major demolition and construction projects were delivered to time and cost. It was instructive to understand how London 2012 was delivered and there are many lessons we can apply across our estate.”

A range of material, including video podcasts of the four presentations, is now available via the NDA website

Published 3 April 2013