Skip to Main Content
Awards 2024

Investigation launches into Sellafield’s risks and costs

The Government has launched an investigation into decommissioning work at Sellafield.

The National Audit Office said it will examine if the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority and Sellafield are taking a sustainable approach to the work, leading to permanent hazard reduction.

The site, which is the UK’s most challenging, holds around 85% of all the UK’s nuclear waste, much of which is stored in ageing facilities.

The National Audit Office said: “Unlike modern nuclear facilities, many of the buildings at Sellafield were built with limited consideration of how they would ultimately be decommissioned.

“Cleaning up the site is a long-term endeavour, likely to last well into the next century. It is expected to cost £84 billion (in discounted prices), though this cost estimate is highly uncertain.”

Sellafield Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the NDA, manages the site, spending £2.5 billion last year.

It added it had reported regularly on the challenges faced by the authority at Sellafield. Its last report was in 2018.

It said: “We concluded then that work to reduce risk and high hazard at Sellafield has taken an encouraging turn for the better. However, more work was required to measure, evaluate and communicate progress more effectively.

The new report, due to be published in the autumn, said it will look at if Sellafield and the NDA:

  • are managing and prioritising the risks and hazards of the site effectively in the short and long term
  • have sustained the positive trend on the management of major projects we found in the 2018 report
  • are deploying resources across the group effectively

Investigation launches into Sellafield's risks and costs -