The UK’s Nuclear Decommissioning Authority has announced the winners of its 2017 NDA Estate Supply Chain Awards, recognising excellence in skills and capacity building, technical innovation, collaboration and export success across its suppliers.

Entries were submitted in four categories covering skills and capacity development, technical innovation, collaboration and export success. A Minister’s SME award was also chosen from all the individual entries.

Chair of the judging panel Ron Gorham, the NDA’s head of supply chain optimisation and SME champion, praised the high standard of entries. “Our suppliers play a critical role in delivering timely, cost-effective decommissioning across our sites, and we are delighted to acknowledge their vital contribution,” Gorham said.

Capability and capacity

Joint winners in the capability and capacity category are the University of Cumbria for Project Academy for Sellafield Ltd and the Nuclear AMRC and Rolls-Royce for delivering the Civil Nuclear Sharing in Growth Programme.

The Project Academy, set up in April 2016, has trained over 600 students, delivering significant cost savings for Sellafield Ltd. "The approach will create the capacity to deliver projects needed to decommission the Sellafield site by providing people with the required education, training and professional qualifications for the unique, complex projects," NDA said.
The four-year Civil Nuclear Sharing in Growth Programme focused on developing the UK nuclear manufacturing supply chain to win work at home and overseas. The scheme was managed by Rolls-Royce on behalf of Nuclear AMRC and was part-funded by the Government’s Regional Growth Fund. Participating companies have won over £437 million of contracts, securing some 5000 UK jobs and achieving £37.4 million of private sector investment.


Nuvia Ltd has won the innovation award for its project to dismantle the 61m-high separation area head end stack from the existing building at the Sellafield site. Due to the nature of facilities surrounding the stack Nuvia and Sellafield Ltd worked with Delta International to modify their self-climbing platform for its first use on a nuclear site. The self-climbing platform will provide a safe working area, with fewer workers required to dismantle the stack.

The Underwater Construction Corporation UK Ltd was also highly commended for its use of divers to inspect spent fuel ponds at Dungeness A site.


A team of eight supply chain safety partners (Carillion, Kier, Morgan Sindall, G & AM Lawson, Amec Foster Wheeler, Balfour Beatty, Costain, M&W Group) across Sellafield worked to develop new standardised guidance, training, material and mentoring to be implemented across the Projects Delivery Directorate supply chain at Sellafield. Since March 2017, over 1000 people from 36 different companies have been trained, and the project is helping to prevent incidents and improve safety. It has also improved supplier relationships and saved time and cost on training.

James Fisher Nuclear Ltd, WYG and Sellafield Ltd were highly commended for the collaborative deployment of small unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to assess the structural integrity of buildings on the Sellafield site.


Oxford Technologies Ltd, was successful in the export category for work to develop a robotic device and tooling for the fuel debris retrieval project at Fukushima Daiichi in Japan. The technology, which will be used for investigation of reactor internals, the sampling of fuel debris for analysis and fuel debris removal, is based on proven approaches used at Sellafield (for the First Generation Magnox Storage Pond) and Dounreay (for the shaft and silo project).

Minister’s SME award

Welsh firm BICO Ltd has been chosen as the winner for the Minister’s award, which recognises the value, flexibility and innovation that small and medium enterprises bring to NDA’s cleanup mission. “The reactivity of BICO to embrace a problem or challenge was like a breath of fresh air,” said NDA.

JGC Engineering & Technical Services Ltd was also highly commended.