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Saturday, 22 November 2014

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NMP in line for £50m fee from NDA Add your comments

SELLAFIELD overlords Nuclear Management Partners are set to pick up a £50 million “well-done” fee on top of a £16.5 million dividend already earned.

The money – from the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority kitty – is for NMP’s good performance and efficiency managing Sellafield over the past 16 months.

The Whitehaven News can also reveal for the first time the salaries paid to Sellafield’s top executives who succeeded the former BNFL directors, seven of whom received loss of office pay-offs amounting to £8 million.

These included former managing director Barry Snelson. He parted company with £2 million largely in compensation.

The 2008-9 accounts reveal that seven Nuclear Management Partner executives were paid more than £1 million between them for their first four months’ work at Sellafield. These included American managing director Bill Poulson and Bob Pedde, who was in charge for a short time before returning to the United States.

Based on the first four months figures the present 19-strong Sellafield executive team will receive around £8.6 million between them in salaries for the 2009-10 financial year which will end shortly.

A Sellafield Ltd spokesman told The Whitehaven News: “Our team of executive directors are world leading experts in their respective fields with decades of experience of the nuclear industry both domestically and internationally.

Their remuneration is a matter for the (consortium) companies which employ them - URS (American), Areva (France) and Amec (UK).

In comments to The Whitehaven News, Barry Snelson, also points out that of his £2 million loss of office compensation some £788,508 has gone in tax.

He goes on: “I won’t protest about the coverage [in The Whitehaven News] or attempt to defend it but I want to correct some of the untruths which relate to the (previous) executive team. They won’t speak up for themselves but firstly they did not fare equally well.

“BNFL always had a good redundancy scheme from which many generations have benefited especially those with long service and a high salary. Long serving executives did well but those with much shorter service much less well.

“I just fortunately, or unfortunately, was Sellafield’s highest paid employee and had 30 years’ service with the company.

“It is also unjust to claim that ‘they took their windfalls to other jobs in the industry.’ None of them work in Cumbria and only one could be said to have found permanent employment in the UK nuclear industry. One has had to move to America. One has moved to London for a job outside the industry. One works for an international project company on all sorts of projects, some nuclear.

None of the other four have found permanent employment but have either only worked in a series of temporary jobs, all over the country, or have not worked at all.”

Have your say

Forgive me for asking, but whose money is this again? Surely the taxpayer's, or is the NDA now autonomous?

Posted by Ian Hawkes on 9 March 2010 at 20:31

I don’t think Barry Snelson is making a completely fair comparison in trying to justify the outgoing director’s compensation payments by making reference to BNFLs voluntary redundancy arrangements. These directors knew well in advance that they would all have to leave when ownership of Sellafield Ltd transfered. If the NDA were acting responsibly (with respect to the interests of the UK public) they should have ensured the directors contracts of employment terminated without compensation at the time of share transfer. In contrast to the circumstances under which the directors left, voluntary redundancy payments are made to encourage staff to elect to leave. Hence voluntary redundancy payments are to incentivise staff to leave but the directors simply had no option if the NDA was to achieve its objectives. One queries whether the compensation payments were target related so that the directors had to achieve specific objectives before leaving in order to trigger the payments? The full details should be placed in the public domain since the compensation was public money which could otherwise have been used for the benefit of the whole of society.

The NMP fee and dividend is difficult to comment on without knowing turnover, what has trigger payment and the efficiencies achieved over and above what the previous management would have achieved anyway. However, under the previous management all profits/fees were returned to the owner (effectively the government) but now they are going to 3 companies 2 of which are not even UK! So therefore it is hard to understand and appreciate the net impact on UK plc. Is there a proof of the impact on the UK of the new arrangements and ownership, if there is then it should be placed in the public domain. There are many examples of the government contracting things out, bring in new management and undertaking public private partnerships which have gone horrendously wrong.

Posted by Dave on 5 March 2010 at 21:10

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