Magnox North and South to merge

26 October 2010

The two companies that manage the sites of the UK's magnesium oxide reactors, Magnox North and Magnox South, are merging.

Magnox North manages Oldbury 1 and 2 and Wylfa A1 and A2 on behalf of the UK government agency the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority. The two companies together manage another eight sites of shut down reactors.

Both companies are subsidiaries of site licence company Magnox Electric. The sole shareholder and so-called parent body organisation of that firm is Reactor Sites Management Company, which is a wholly-owned subsidiary of US-based decommissioning firm EnergySolutions.

"The reintegration of Magnox North and South is part of our work to meet the NDA's challenge to reduce support and overhead costs," a spokesman told Nuclear Engineering International. Pending regulatory approval, the company is looking to relicence by the end of the year.

In its draft strategy published for consultation on 1 September, the UK's Nuclear Decommissioning Agency writes:

"We now face the challenges of a different economic climate and increased pressure on public expenditure...Given our funding constraints, difficult decisions will need to be made...In the near future our income from electricity generation will cease as remaining operational Magnox power stations close and revenues from spent fuel management contracts reduce. At the same time our expenditure, £2.85 billion in 2010/11, is expected to increase, principally driven by the capital projects needed to reduce risk and hazard...

"Currently around a quarter of our budget is spent on direct decommissioning and clean-up, with the balance spent on maintaining our sites in a safe & secure state and on operations associated with fuel and waste management. We have a clear objective to increase the proportion of decommissioning and clean-up expenditure, which in part will come from reducing overheads and support costs across our estate."

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