BNFL ruled out of Chernobyl contract

27 August 1998

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has ruled out bids involving British Nuclear Fuels plc to build a spent fuel storage facility and a liquid waste treatment plant at Chernobyl. Westinghouse are involved in the project management unit which will decide who wins the contracts, worth $48 million, and the EBRD ruled that a bid involving BNFL would constitute a conflict of interest.

“We are obviously disappointed,” said BNFL spokeman Alan Hughes. “The bids involved 18 months to two years of work and it’s very disappointing personally for those who worked on the project. We are looking to see if we can do anything to turn the situation around.” The EBRD is responsible for administering Western funding for Chernobyl projects. The bank plans to close down the remaining reactors by 2000. It received five tenders for the contracts and is likely to announce the winning consortium in February 1999 following a two part consultation process in which technical and financial issues will be addressed separately. The decision to rule out BNFL has no bearing on contracts for work on stabilising and ultimately dismantling reactor 4, which blew up in April 1986.

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