Nuclear decommissioning authority faces lawsuit

US-based Energy Solutions has filed a lawsuit against the UK Nuclear Decommissioning Authority for what they say was a faulty bidding process.

Energy Solutions action could mean the NDA end up paying around £200m in damages if found on the wrong side of the judgement arising from the tender for a £7bn nuclear decommissioning contract.

The Salt Lake City-based company filed a High Court writ last week after losing the 14-year contract to engineering company Babcock and Texas-based Fluor.
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The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, the government-funded body responsible for Britain’s state-owned nuclear sites, started the competition two years ago and work is expected to start by Babcock in September.

Energy Solutions, which has been managing the nuclear sites for the past 14 years, has alleged in documents filed to the High Court last week that the NDA’s point scoring system is flawed and that it didn’t follow its own procedures. It competed for the contract in partnership with the US company Bechtel but is taking legal action alone.

Energy Solutions declined to comment but a spokesperson said the legal action spoke for itself.

The clean-up contract involves around 3,000 workers on 12 of Britain’s ageing nuclear sites across the UK.

For their part the NDA said the competition process was run in strict accordance with UK and EU procurement regulations. “The NDA’s processes were assessed throughout the two years of competition to ensure compliance. This included a comprehensive, positive review earlier this year by the Major Projects Authority, an arm of the Cabinet Office.”

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