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Awards 2024

Fresh detail emerges of £4.6bn Sellafield opportunity

Sellafield procurement chiefs have outlined a raft of details of a multi-billion-pound civils framework set to go to the market this summer.

The Decommissioning Nuclear Waste Partnership is now expected to feature four lots rather than five, an official notice showed, while its overall estimated maximum value has dropped from £5bn to £4.6bn.

A timetable included in the latest documents indicates that the contract notice will be published this July with an October deadline for submissions. Invitations to tender are then anticipated next February before preferred bidders are finally announced in late 2025.

The framework will replace an existing Decommissioning Delivery Partnership, featuring firms including Atkins, Costain and Jacobs Stobbarts, which expires in March 2026.

Work through the new deal will focus on retrieval and remediation of legacy buildings and facilities on the sprawling Cumbrian site.

In a 52-page document, client body Sellafield Ltd set out its intention to appoint two remediation partners under one lot, rather than separately as previously expected.

A single ponds partner will be named for lot 2, with a standalone silos partner forming lot 3.

All these firms can expect annual earnings of up to £50M, while an integrated nuclear waste partner can anticipate income of £10M-£15M per annum.

Teams can bid for more than one role on the framework but they won’t win more than two spots, and Sellafield aims to contract with at least three entities in total.

A minimum of five bidders will be shortlisted for each lot.

A separate 20-year Programme and Project Partner contract was awarded to KBR, Wood, Morgan Sindall and Doosan Babcock in 2019 and is trained on new-build structures.

Sellafield opened shortly after the Second World War to produce plutonium as a deterrent weapon and was later converted into the first commercial nuclear power plant. It stopped producing energy in 2003 but will take a century to clean up.