The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) on 3 September took ownership of Magnox Ltd, which is responsible for the cleanup of 12 nuclear sites and operation of one hydroelectric plant in the UK.
Ownership was transferred from the Parent Body Organisation, Cavendish Fluor Partnership. Magnox Ltd will now operate as a subsidiary of the NDA. It follows a similar change made at Sellafield in 2016, with the new arrangement intended to provide increased efficiency.
The 10 Magnox nuclear sites are Bradwell in Essex; Chapelcross in Scotland; Dungeness A in Kent; Hinkley Point A in Somerset; Hunterston A in Scotland; Berkeley and Oldbury in Gloucestershire; Sizewell A in Suffolk; and Trawsfynydd and Wylfa in North Wales. The other two sites are the research facilities at Harwell in Oxfordshire and Winfrith in Dorset.
The NDA's chief executive, David Peattie, said: "Today is an important day for Magnox and the NDA as we continue to find more effective and efficient ways of managing nuclear site clean-up and decommissioning."
"We’ve secured a very strong executive team, led by Gwen Parry-Jones OBE, to drive progress and success across the Magnox sites."
Magnox CEO Gwen Parry-Jones, said: "This is a very exciting time for Magnox. We have some fantastic talented people and being an NDA subsidiary gives us more opportunities to work closely as part of the NDA group, share ideas and take a more flexible approach to decommissioning the UK’s first generation of nuclear power stations."
Gwen Parry-Jones was appointed CEO of Magnox in March specifically to help lead the transition process. She was previously Executive Director of Operations Development at Horizon Nuclear Power and before that Generation Development Director and Safety and Assurance Director at EDF Energy. She started her career in 1989, as a reactor physicist at Magnox’s Wylfa power station, before taking up several management positions at British Energy and then EDF Energy, in the UK and Canada. In 2008 she became the Station Director of Heysham 1 power station and the first woman in the UK to have run a nuclear power station.
NDA was set up in 2004 specifically to deal with the nuclear legacy. However, in 2018 the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) said NDA had failed in both the procurement and management of a contract to clean up the Magnox reactor and research sites. In 2014, a £6.2bn ($7.6bn) contract was awarded to Cavendish Fluor Partnership (a joint venture between UK-based Babcock International and Fluor of the US) to dismantle the Magnox nuclear sites. The PAC report said its mismanagement had disrupted an important component of vital nuclear decommissioning work and cost the taxpayer more than £122m.