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Following a strategic review, undertaken jointly with government, the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority has received the go-ahead from Government for its plans to develop a vibrant British company to compete for nuclear and non-nuclear business in the UK and overseas.

Dipesh Shah, Chief Executive, UKAEA
Dipesh J Shah
Chief Executive Of UKAEA

Welcoming the decision, Chief Executive, Dipesh Shah, said, "I am delighted that we have received the Government's blessing for our plans to go for growth and income. We can now press ahead with renewed confidence with our business ambitions to grow beyond our existing UK sites and expand internationally.  "Over the past two years we have made great strides in preparing for the introduction of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA). We have shown we can lead the industry in reducing the timescales for decommissioning nuclear sites and reducing the cost to the nation. And we have established a track record in nuclear site clean-up that is second to none in Europe.

Dipesh Shah is determined to build a vibrant British company that can compete successfully for our own and other NDA sites. We also aim to broaden our commercial activities both in the UK and overseas by winning low risk contracts for professional services in markets where we know our skills are sought after.

Environmental restoration and regeneration is one potential area of growth, an area where UKAEA has been notably successful. In Europe and the Former Soviet Union the target market in nuclear clean-up and site restoration is estimated to be 1.2 billion a year.

"To achieve our business aims we will build our commercial expertise and bring on board partners to complement our own skills in key areas, such as bid capability. As a first step, we have formally invited companies to express an interest in partnering UKAEA in competing for NDA sites and in other business sectors.

"We are now embarked on an exciting journey but one in which we fully realise the challenges ahead. Our people have the skills, experience and above all the commitment to succeed. I look forward to working with them to achieve our new mission."

Potential business growth areas for UKAEA include:
Site management contracts under the NDA
Consultancy services in decommissioning, waste and fuel management and site restoration.
Project and Programme management services
Engineering design and substantiation services
Assurance services, including risk assessment, safety case production and advice on a broad range of
  technical areas.

UKAEA is a Non Departmental Public Body charged with decommissioning its former research sites at Dounreay, Windscale, Harwell, and Winfrith. UKAEA also implements the UK?s fusion programme, including management of the international JET facility at Culham.

UKAEA has fully decommissioned 14 out of its 26 research reactors; restored large areas of contaminated land; regenerated Harwell and Winfrith as centres for science and technology; reduced the timescale for decommissioning its nuclear sites by well over 50% for some sites; and in
ten years almost halved the level of its nuclear liabilities estimate from 8.4 billion in 1994 to 4.8 billion in 2004.

UKAEA's turnover in 2003/04 was 407 million of which 308 million was placed with external organisations. UKAEA has a staff complement of 2,400.

The NDA, which came into being on 1 April 2005, has taken responsibility for the whole of the UK?s civil nuclear clean-up programme which includes a total of twenty civil nuclear sites operated by UKAEA and BNFL. They include Sellafield and the Magnox nuclear power plants as well as UKAEA's sites.

The NDA has placed initial contracts for site management and clean-up work with the current site licensees. In future site management contracts will be competed.