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UKAEA Limited

Volume 490: debated on Monday 30 March 2009

My noble Friend the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform has made the following statement.

We are announcing today the commencement of a sale process to dispose of 100 per cent. of UKAEA Ltd (offers will also be accepted for a partial offer), the commercial operations of the UK Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA). The process will take the form of two stages, an initial stage which will allow bidders access to an information memorandum document written by Greenhill & Co and will request first round bids. Following this, a second stage, will allow a smaller number of interested parties access to detailed due diligence and put forward a further more detailed bid. It is the intention for Her Majesty’s Government to complete the transaction prior to the summer recess.

The sale is the next step in the development of the commercial business of UKAEA Ltd, which was first approved by Ministers in 2005. The sale is recognition of the work done by management in creating a commercially viable enterprise that has become an important repository of key nuclear skills that will help ensure that the UK will remain at the forefront of the nuclear services industry.

UKAEA Ltd principally undertakes nuclear decommissioning work under contract for Nuclear Decommissioning Authority-owned sites in the UK (Dounreay and Harwell/Winfrith). The business also has a fledgling consulting services business within the nuclear decommissioning sector under which it operates tier 2 and tier 3 smaller scale contracts for both the NDA and other owners.

The principal site of operation for UKAEA Ltd is Dounreay, located in the north-east of Scotland. The business also contains a pensions administration business which administers the pensions of several nuclear industry public sector operators.

The business plan of UKAEA Ltd aims to grow revenues by principally growing the consulting services provided by the business. Within the UK and internationally there are a significant number of “old” nuclear facilities for which decommissioning services will be required.

UKAEA Ltd’s key decommissioning site Dounreay will be competed in the next two years Government would like UKAEA Ltd to be in a position to enter the competition with clarity and stability over the business’s ownership.

This sale underlines the importance attached to the clean up of nuclear waste. It will increase efficiency, competition and value for money for the taxpayer in the decommissioning and clean up work of old nuclear power stations.