Challenge and change
The NDA was established in 2005 to oversee the safe and efficient clean-up of the nation’s nuclear legacy.
Our mission remains unchanged, as does the relentless focus on cleaning up and decommissioning the UK’s nuclear sites and delivering value for the taxpayer, with the safety and security of people and the environment at the forefront of our minds.
After my first full year as Chief Executive, my vision now is to build a stronger NDA Group, where all parts of our business are working together with a collective focus on delivering the mission more efficiently.
Changes to the way we work and manage ourselves will be the most significant since our organisation was created in 2005.
These changes will incorporate learning from the Magnox competition and contract, but their main aim will be to improve delivery, providing a foundation for long-term success. Post-closure of our 2017/18 Annual Report and Accounts, we announced that Magnox Ltd will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of the NDA after September 2019.
Joining me in building a stronger NDA Group are 3 new executives appointed last year:
- Kate Ellis joined as Commercial Director, bringing a wealth of commercial experience from previous roles with the Ministry of Justice and BP.
- Neil Hewlett was appointed as General Counsel to offer valuable legal advice to the Executive and Board
- Most recently, Alan Cumming took up the new position of Director of Nuclear Operations. Alan brings extensive experience in nuclear, waste and petrochemicals.
Important milestones reached
Throughout this time of challenge and change, outlined in our annual report and accounts, our skilled professional workforce has remained focused on delivering the mission, reaching some important milestones during last year.
For the very first time at Sellafield, our largest, most complex site, we’re beginning to retrieve radioactive waste from facilities that date back to the very beginning of the nuclear industry.
At Dounreay, a vital programme began to remove metallic casings that had been trapped for decades in the Dounreay Fast Reactor. Decommissioning the site’s three reactors is a major step towards cleaning up and ultimately closing the site.
Over the next year, the Bradwell site in Essex will become the first Magnox site to enter a state of care and maintenance after all mobile hazards, and the vast majority of the buildings, have been cleared.
Last year we also continued to make good progress in the transfer of spent nuclear fuel from some of our other sites to Sellafield, where it can be safely managed in the most appropriate way.
I am pleased to report that spending in the 2017/18 financial year was, once again, kept below the annual limit set by government while we exceeded revenue targets, generating £1.2 billion of income to offset significant taxpayer contributions of £2.1 billion. This is a result of some outstanding work by our commercial colleagues around the businesses, for which I am grateful.
Safety is a priority for us and everyone
I’d like to thank everyone who responded to the demand for improved safety performance. Last year’s safety statistics were the best we have seen for 3 years.
As I visit our sites, from the very north of Scotland to the far south of England, I am always impressed by the expertise and dedication of our workforce.
Our work is dependent on collaboration, not just with people on our sites and supply chain, but with our stakeholders, including those from our government department, regulators, and crucially our communities. We are grateful for their continued support and look forward to accepting their challenge of continuing to work in partnership.
Opportunities to learn
With support also comes scrutiny, which is only right and proper for a public sector organisation, and this year has seen unprecedented levels of interest as a result of the Magnox competition and contract.
An independent inquiry into the issues is expected to conclude later this year.
We will welcome its findings as a further opportunity to learn from the mistakes and ensure they cannot happen again.
We remain committed to an open, transparent approach and securing the trust of our stakeholders, so please do share your thoughts on our progress and the way ahead.