High Court: UK Nuclear Agency ‘Manipulated’ £7bn Clean-Up Contract

  • Date: 30/07/16
  • Catherine Belton, Financial Times

Britain’s Nuclear Decommissioning Authority “manipulated” and “fudged” a tender process for a £7bn contract to clean up the country’s nuclear power plants, the High Court has ruled.

The judgment, handed down on Friday, raises fresh questions over the way government entities hand out multibillion-pound contracts and casts further doubt on the UK’s nuclear industry a day after the government’s decision to launch a review of the £18bn Hinkley Point project. It could eventually cost the government hundreds of millions of pounds in damages.

The NDA said it was considering its legal options after the ruling, which found that it had wrongly awarded one of the government’s largest contracts to Babcock, the UK engineering company, and Texas-based Fluor. The claim was filed by Energy Solutions, the US-based company that lost the contract after managing the nuclear sites for 14 years.

Energy Solutions, which bid for the contract in a consortium with Bechtel but took legal action against the NDA alone, said it would press for “significant payment . . . for the damages caused by the NDA’s incorrect decision”. It has previously signalled it would seek up to £200m in damages.

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