News story

Tom Smith appointed Chairman of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority

Energy Minister Baroness Neville-Rolfe has today announced the appointment of Tom Smith as Chairman of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA).

Mr Smith will be responsible for the operation, decommissioning and clean-up of 17 legacy nuclear sites, including Sellafield. He will assume the role from 1 March 2017 from Stephen Henwood, who will step down as Chair after 9 years in the role.

Tom Smith said:

I am honoured to have been asked by the government to become the NDA’s Chairman and in doing so oversee the important task of decommissioning the UK’s nuclear legacy. It is a privilege to be taking up this post with the NDA, which through a highly-skilled workforce, cutting-edge innovation, and strong utilisation of the UK supply chain, is making good progress on delivering its exceptionally challenging mission.

I would like to thank Stephen for his excellent stewardship of the NDA over the last 9 years, and wish him well for the future. It has been a pleasure to serve on the board under him.

Energy Minister Baroness Neville-Rolfe said:

I would like to thank Stephen Henwood for his hard work and dedication in successfully steering the NDA through a number of complex challenges. He hands the mantle to an excellent successor, Tom Smith, who has the experience and knowledge to take the authority forward successfully and to progress the safe decommissioning of the UK’s nuclear legacy.

Stephen Henwood, the outgoing Chair said:

Tom Smith has a strong track record in delivering infrastructure projects and complex commercial contracts between the public and private sectors, and since 2013 he has been an invaluable asset to the NDA Board. I have no doubt that the NDA will greatly benefit from his knowledge, experience and dedication to making significant progress in decommissioning the UK’s nuclear legacy.

Tom read Chemistry at Balliol College, Oxford and is a Member of the Institute of Directors. His initial career was in the Diplomatic Service, working in London, Hong Kong and Beijing between 1979 and 1990, when he was part of the team that negotiated the 1984 treaty with China on Hong Kong.

With a career embracing both public and private sectors, he spent 10 years at the Go-Ahead Group plc, becoming Managing Director Rail Development and was instrumental in making Go-Ahead one of Britain’s largest train operators. He was Chairman of the Association of Train Operating Companies from 2009 to 2013. Previous to his career in the rail industry, he was Managing Director of Midland Expressway, the company that developed and operates the M6Toll; and held a number of senior positions at Trafalgar House plc.

In 2013 he was appointed as Non-Executive Director of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, serving as a member of the NDA’s Audit and Risk Assurance Committee. In January 2014, Mr Smith was appointed a Non-Executive Director of the Highways Agency and became a Non-Executive Director of Highways England on 1 April 2015. He is also Chairman of Angel Trains Group.

Mr Smith’s term will run from 1 March 2017 to 29 February 2020.