BLP advises UKAEA on nuclear decommissioning contracts with Nuclear Decommissioning Authority

Berwin Leighton Paisner (BLP) advised UKAEA Limited on the negotiation of interim nuclear decommissioning contracts with the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA), at the Dounreay and Harwell/Winfrith nuclear sites. 

The NDA was set up by Government to take strategic responsibility for the UK’s civil nuclear legacy.  As part of that objective the NDA is opening up the operation and management of the UK’s existing civil sites to the private sector through a series of competitions.  Previously the sites were operated by either UKAEA or BNFL, both public sector bodies.

UKAEA, the operator of three of the civil nuclear sites in the UK, formed UKAEA Limited to compete for its own sites and other sites in the UK and to win non NDA and overseas business. The Government anticipates a possible sale of a minority stake in UKAEA Limited to the private sector in the near future and, after the competed contract for the Dounreay site is awarded (estimated 2010),  a sale of the remaining majority stake.

The interim nuclear decommissioning contracts were required to provide a platform from which the NDA will launch competitions for the operation and management of the Dounreay and Harwell/Winfrith sites.

This marks the final stage of a five year site rationalisation process required to meet the objectives of the Energy Act 2004, and to enable decommissioning activities at the sites to be competed in the nuclear marketplace.  As part of that process UKAEA Limited has evolved to meet the challenges posed by the newly created competitive environment.  BLP has advised UKAEA throughout this challenging time.

UKAEA’s legal resource was headed up by their in house legal advisor Martin Scott. The BLP Client Relationship Partner for UKAEA is Construction Partner Caroline Pope.

The BLP transaction team was led by Senior Associate Kenneth Addly.  Senior Associate Nicole Hallegua provided employment law advice, and Associate Ben Warth provided corporate advice. 

Kenneth Addly commented: “We have advised UKAEA and UKAEA Limited throughout this five year period of transformation of the nuclear decommissioning sector. We are delighted to have assisted in the development of UKAEA Limited in readiness for the challenges ahead. This transaction represents the final stage before the UKAEA sites are competed in the market. BLP’s involvement in this transformation has provided us with a valuable insight into the strategic objectives for the UK nuclear sector and their implementation and  has provided us with an excellent platform from which to further develop our nuclear practice, both in the decommissioning/waste sector and in the nuclear power sector.”

Herbert Smith advised the NDA.

If you require any further information, please contact Kenneth Addly at kenneth.addly@blplaw.com.

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