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Monday, 22 September 2014

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Nuclear chiefs await grilling from MPs

NUCLEAR chiefs will be held to account in public on Monday for massive over-spending of taxpayers’ money at Sellafield – and potential risks from old plants.

At a hearing held at Energus (Lillyhall), they face a grilling from the Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee over serious concerns highlighted in the National Audit Office Managing Risk Reduction at Sellafield report.

Under scrutiny will be George Beveridge (Sellafield Ltd deputy managing director), John Clarke (Nuclear Decommissioning Authority chief executive), Mark Higson (of the Office for Nuclear Development at the Department of Energy and Climate Change) and Phil Wynn Owen (acting permanent secretary at DECC).

Cross-party MPs in this powerful government select committee will be asking tough questions about Sellafield’s performance and also demand reassurances about future costs and potential risks.

Before the afternoon’s two-hour ‘evidence session’ (start 2pm), examining MPs will visit Sellafield – described in the National Audit Office report as one of the world’s most complex and hazardous nuclear sites.

They’ll look at higher risk areas of the site as well as major projects where costs have spiralled leading to delays in reducing risks and so far failed to give value for taxpayers’ money.

Members of the public are not allowed to take part in Monday’s hearing but will be able to submit responses to the Committee as it draws up a report to Parliament on its findings.

Regarding the Sellafield clean-up plan, committee chair MP Margaret Hodge - named Inquisitor of the Year in the Spectator's Parliamentary awards this week - said: “The authority’s revised plan sees critical milestones shunted back by up to seven years.

“After only 10 months of operating under the new plan, performance in 12 out of 14 major projects has been dire.”

She said: “Hazardous radioactive waste is housed in buildings which pose ‘intolerable risks to people and the environment’.

“My concern is that unless the authority (NDA) holds Sellafield Ltd to a clear and rigorously benchmark plan, timetables will continue to slip and costs spiral.”

Have your say

A grilling that's an understatement Grill away NAO and ask our so called leaders where there wasting money hand over fist il tell you where on two bit jobs with no responsibility no accountability what so ever pen pushers document makers data collectors all getting paid far more than the job is worth all getting paid more than say a shift team manger in charge of an entire nuclear facility Grill them and ask them to explain why after hundreds of people have asked why these jobs are being paid top dollar why NMP just bury there heads in the sand and ignore what there being told,

Posted by disgruntled on behalf of many on 28 November 2012 at 20:20

Workers have reasonable job security because like the banks, Sellafield is too important to be allowed to fail...so the money tap from the taxpayers will never be turned off..whatever the MPs or Audit Office may say...Thankfully for West Cumbria that tap has been allowed to run for the past 50 years.

Posted by Dave Siddall on 27 November 2012 at 18:59

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