Excellent Article in The Ecologist
Sellafield – how the nuclear industry fleeced taxpayers
by David Lowry
19th January 2015
Last week the consortium holding a £22bn contract to clean up the Sellafield nuclear site was sacked, writes David Lowry. But this is just the end of a long and scandalous tale of corporate profit at taxpayers’ expense, and the active collusion of ministers and senior officials in fighting off Parliamentary scrutiny.
It’s an appalling waste of public money. It’s like scattering confetti. Time extends and extends. I have looked at this two or three times now and every time I look at it the cost goes up – not in hundreds of millions, but in billions.
Last 4th November the managing director of Sellafield, the giant nuclear waste processing plant on the Cumbian coast in NW England, issued its report to the six-monthly meeting of the nuclear sites stakeholder group covering the Sellafield plant.
In bullish tone he opened his introduction, boldly pronouncing: “This time last year, in my first report to WCSSG as Sellafield Ltd’s Managing Director, I talked about our new strategy Key to Britain’s Energy Future.
“I explained that I wanted a clear strategy, understood by our employees and the local community, to drive improved performance in our nationally important task of cleaning up the Sellafield Site.
“The strategy describes how we will deliver our clean up mission by keeping Sellafield safe and secure, by making demonstrable progress on all of our activities and by providing a return on taxpayers’ investment through value for money and socio-economic benefit in our local community.
“Our strategy describes where we want to be, and the Sellafield plan explains how we will get there. We recently launched a companion document, the Excellence Plan which outlines activities that will improve our ability to reach our goal.”
Two months later – sacked
Barely two months later, on 13 January, Energy Secretary Ed Davey announced in a statement to Parliament that he was sacking Nuclear Management Partners (NMP), the private consortium awarded the £22 billion top tier management contract for Britain’s biggest nuclear installation, in early October 2008.