Sellafield Ltd is seeking specialist suppliers to help with clean-up and decommissioning of the legacy ponds and silos at Europe’s largest nuclear site in Cumbria, UK. The work under the new commercial framework could be worth up to £1.5 billion over ten years.

The Decommissioning Delivery Partnership (DDP) is not a traditional contract but a commercial framework agreement that can be called upon when support is required.

The consortia chosen will work collaboratively with Sellafield Ltd to provide a range of services including: surveying and assessing jobs; planning and engineering; decontamination; manufacturing and installation of plant and equipment; dismantling and demolitions, and waste management.

"There are opportunities for suppliers big and small to work together in consortiums to bid for the separate lots which are focused on our legacy ponds and silos at Sellafield," said Ian Whitehouse, head of commercial for decommissioning at Sellafield.

The first lot relates to the Pile Fuel Storage Pond (PFSP), Pile Fuel Cladding Silo (PFCS), Site Remediation & Decommissioning Projects (SR&DP), among others. Lot 2 relates to the First Generation Magnox Storage Pond (FGMSP) and Lot 3 to Magnox Swarf Storage Silo (MSSS).

Sellafield says that pre-qualification of interested contractors has already began, and that a tendering process is expected at the end of this year. The preferred suppliers are expected to be announced in mid-2015.

The new framework will replace an existing four-year decommissioning framework agreement (DFA2), which was awarded to Astrel, Cumbria Nuclear Solution Ltd, DEV Nuclear and Nuvia Ltd in June 2011.

"Awarding a longer-term ten year arrangement provides better security of demand for the supply chain which in turn drives innovation and provides socio-economic benefits through investment in people, technology and infrastructure," says project manager Angela Mackintosh.

Around 11,000 people currently work at the Sellafield site, which began operations in the 1940s.

Photo: Decommissioning work at Sellafield.