Sellafield’s 60-year-old first generation Magnox storage pond handled 27,000t of nuclear fuel over its lifetime and is now being decommissioned. It’s estimated there’s up to 1500cu m of radioactive sludge left in the pond.
The new £240M SPP1 was needed to handle this historic radioactive waste from one of the UK’s most hazardous decommissioning projects. The evolving nature of the project – where research and development was delivered in tandem with construction – posed continual commercial challenges.
An integrated team approach was developed to provide commercial services. This enabled us to develop a final account process working with the client and the EPC contractor, a Balfour Beatty/Doosan Babcock consortium, to close down commercial risks. Collectively agreeing how to deal with commercial issues as they arose – rather than waiting until project completion to find out what the final bill would be – helped drive behaviours that ensured no-one found themselves in a negative cash flow situation during the project and avoided any debts that could have impacted performance. We were also very active in claims management, which contributed to savings made on the project.
Our commercial services supported the client in realising savings in excess of £6M through a combination of cost, fee and claims management. Specific audit lines of enquiry developed to support the project proved so effective they have been rolled-up into Sellafield’s company-wide operation and governance procedures. SPP1 is now receiving sludge.