Union calls for probe into ‘fudged’ nuclear clean-up contract

The Unite union has called for the business secretary Greg Clark to launch a probe into a £7 billion nuclear clean-up contract awarded by the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority.

It follows a recent a High Court ruling which found that the NDA had “fudged” and “manipulated” the tender process when it awarded a contract to decommission 12 Magnox nuclear reactors to Cavendish Fluor Partnership (CFP) in 2014.

“Greg Clark, who has energy in his ministerial portfolio, needs to launch an urgent investigation into the way the NDA conducts its affairs which, according to the High Court judgement, leaves much to be desired,” said Unite national officer for energy Kevin Coyne. “Serious questions need to asked – and answered by the NDA management.”

“These questions include the tortuous bidding system, the removal of a company, Energy Solutions, that had done the job well for over 10 years and the cost implications which had been proven to be technically non-compliant,” he added.

Coyne said the union also wants to discover whether redundancies enacted since CFP took over the contract were “really necessary” and whether the new staffing levels are appropriate.

The High Court has yet to decide on an appropriate level of compensation after ruling in favour of Energy Solutions – a member of the consortium which held the previous contract – in July. Members of the two other consortia which lost out are also considering legal action, the Times has reported.

A spokeswoman for the NDA said: “We have received the judgment and are considering our legal options.” The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has yet to respond to a request for comment.

Earlier this month the NDA announced its chief executive John Clarke will retire over the course of the coming year