Sellafield Ltd, operators of the nuclear waste decommissioning facility at Sellafield in Cumbria, have started the process of finding a contractor for its part completed £250 million waste store building project.
Tenders for completion of the Box Encapsulation Plant Product Store (BEPPS), Direct Import Facility and a Service Building have to be submitted by 7 April via an e-tendering portal.
An earlier attempt to retender the project, which has been under way since 1997, was abandoned last year due to lack of interest from contactors in taking on the half finished project which has been scaled back from an original estimated £250 million to around £120 million.
The development is designed to encapsulate intermediate level nuclear waste in cement above ground in the buildings. The decommissioning task at Sellafield is said to be the most technically difficult and challenging in the world’s nuclear industry.
Technical uncertainties on the controversial scheme being undertaken by a Jacobs, Atkins and Carillion joint venture, led to it being stopped after five years of work in 2002.
Balfour Beatty and Babcock were awarded the early contractor engagement phase of the project in 2010 but rising costs led Sellafield to scale back the plans now estimated to be worth £120 million. Lack of interest last year meant the procurement process went no further than an attempted prequalification but Sellafield thinks sufficient interest now exists to attract competing bids.
The management of Sellafield’s decommissioning activity was contracted by the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority in 2008 to Nuclear Management Partners Ltd, a consortium of URS, AMEC and Areva, for an initial five years, which was extended for another five years in October last year.
Photo: Sellafield Ltd