The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) is a new organisation. It was set up by the
government and started to operate in April 2005. Its purpose is to create a UK wide plan to clean
up existing public sector nuclear sites. The business of the NDA is environmental restoration.
On 29th November 2005, the Prime Minister Tony Blair announced a wide-scale review of
the UK\u2019s future energy needs to specifically look into the option of building new nuclear
power stations. The results of the review were published in the summer of 2006.
Nuclear power is an important source of energy in this country, accounting for about 20% of
energy supplies. This figure is small when compared with a country like France that generates
almost 75% of its energy needs from nuclear power stations. It is important for Britain to
develop new energy sources because oil and gas supplies are declining. Before it does so,
however, it is important to make sure that existing sites are cleaned up safely.
This case study shows how the NDA is working to a well-organised planning framework to
achieve its objectives. To understand the process of nucleardecommissioning, it is helpful
to look at the life cycle of a typical reactor site.
You can easily see how this relates to the NDA. The NDA has a clear sense of direction which
is set out in a mission statement. The mission and the objectives associated with it are
then communicated to everyone involved in the process of environmental restoration.
The MbO process can be seen as a cyclical one. An overall sense of direction is given through a
mission statement (overall purpose). This makes it possible to establish objectives. Progress in
meeting objectives is monitored and evaluated so that managers can see if targets have been
achieved. This is then used to check if any of the original objectives need to be adjusted.
the environment, improving
the environment, returning
it back to its natural state.
establishing clear objectives
to guide the actions of
clear objectives as part of
an organisational plan.
short document, often only
a few sentences, setting out
the purpose of an
its work is therefore
NDA (April 2005) to
create a national
plan for cleaning
up nuclear sites
(coupled with safety). Giving the best possible value to the taxpayer.
\u2022Environmentally responsible \u2013 using the best available environmentally-friendly techniques.
\u2022Open and transparent way \u2013 keeping nothing secret, engaging the public and other
\u2022Socio-economic effects on communities \u2013 looking at how closing down plants will affect the livelihoods of people that work in the plants and in local businesses and looking to reduce any negative impacts.
A mission statement:
1. gives a sense of direction
2. helps to motivate members of an organisation
3. lets outsiders know what the organisation stands for
4. shapes the values of the organisation.
\u2022 environmental protection
\u2022 value for money
\u2022 openness and transparency.
\u2022Specific \u2013 so it is clear and easy to understand what needs to be achieved
\u2022Measurable \u2013 we need to be able to measure whether the objectives have been met or not
\u2022Achievable \u2013 there is no point in setting objectives that can\u2019t be achieved because this will
NDA\u2019s core objective is to make sure that the 20 civil public sector nuclear sites are
decommissioned and cleaned up safely, securely, cost-effectively and in ways that protect the
environment for this and future generations.
If we examine this objective it is easy to see that it is:
\u2022 specific \u2013 it specifies that these 20 sites will be cleaned up
\u2022 measurable \u2013 the objective will be achieved when these sites are cleaned up
\u2022 achievable \u2013 given government support and backing
\u2022 realistic \u2013 the NDA has set out a plan to make sure that appropriate contractors are
society and the livelihood
of people e.g. job security,
well being, life chances.
achieved that are specific,
realistic and time related.
\u2022 those nuclear sites and facilities which were developed in the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s to support the Government\u2019s research programmes and deal with the wastes, materials and spent fuels produced by those programmes
\u2022 the Magnox fleet of nuclear power stations built in the 1960s and 1970s. They include the plant and facilities at Sellafield used for the reprocessing of Magnox fuel and all associated wastes and materials.
A useful distinction can be made between strategy and tactics. A strategy is an overall plan
which gives a sense of direction and planning framework. Tactics are the smaller steps
involved in putting a plan into action.
The role of the NDA is to create the overall strategic plan for decommissioning nuclear facilities in
the UK. The tactics, i.e. the day-to-day management of this process, is the responsibility of
contractors who manage the activities on those sites. The contractors are selected through open
competition in accordance with EUProcurement rules within a framework set out by the NDA.
\u2022 The reduction of potentially high hazards, especially at Sellafield. This is the number one clean-
up priority. The NDA has established time-related objectives for this. For example, the aim is to
decommission the Magnox fleet of power stations within 25 years (providing safe waste
management facilities are available). This part of the strategy involves speeding up existing
arrangements. A business case for Government approval for this acceleration is being
prepared. Previous plans and methods involved taking up to 125 years for this process.
\u2022 The NDA will be open and transparent about the process of nuclear decommissioning. It is
important that the public has as much knowledge as possible about the process. A criticism in
the past was that the general public did not know enough about the nuclear industry.
\u2022 Establishing a range of facilities to use, develop and extend the existing skills base. These
will be developed with other organisations and many will be based in West Cumbria (the
location of Sellafield). These will include:
\u2022 a Nuclear Academy to provide courses and business support training up to foundation
\u2022 a Nuclear Institute to provide high quality research and development support
\u2022 a university Chair of Epidemiology to research the impact of radiation on the workforce
\u2022 a National Nuclear laboratory to provide world-class facilities to support the industry.
All this will provide a framework for specific training courses, PhDs and innovation projects and will create a pool of world-class expertise in decommissioning. This will support the UK industry and other countries involved in nuclear decommissioning worldwide.
iii. to work with contractors to use innovation and new methods of working in developing the
plans. This will accelerate work without compromising on safety, security and
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