Nuclear, Waste Management & Decommissioning

Wood, Doosan Babcock among partners in long-term Sellafield nuclear cleanup

Scottish energy infrastructure firm Wood will provide nuclear design and engineering services to a United Kingdom firm in a new contract potentially worth $1 billion.

Wood was selected by Sellafield Ltd. as design and engineering partner for the Sellafield decommissioning project in Cumbria, England. It is one of four companies getting 20-year contracts under the new Programme and Project Partners (PPP) procurement model.

The other companies include Doosan Babcock, Kellogg Brown and Root, and Morgan Sindall Infrastructure. Wood will provide front-end design and engineering and site-wide project delivery improvements.

“This is a fantastic endorsement of Wood’s ability to meet the most complex nuclear decommissing challenges,” Bob MacDonald, CEO of Wood’s Specialist Technical Solutions business, said in a statement. “We already have a deep, shared history with Sellafield and this new appointment provides a platform for us to assist with safe and secure operation and clean-up over the next two decades. This award reflects a highly collaborative approach that we adopt to achieve shared outcomes with customers and partners.

Sellafield routed the PPP as a “game changer” for the supply chain, helping create long-term relationships with the selected partners, developing closer working practices and delivering projects faster without compromising safety standards. The combined PPP partnership will help deliver multiple capital projects with a combined value of up to $6 billion, according to the company.

Wood is no stranger to major UK nuclear projects both in the construction and decommissioning phases. Last month, the company announced it would advise construction design management for the ongoing Hinkley Point C nuclear power station project

The new Hinkley Point C contract with project developers EDF Energy gives Wood a key strategic role in the Hinkley Point C’s technical management and acceptance team. That unit is responsible for implementing construction regulations and managing design risk assessments.

Contractors began work on Hinkley Point C in 2017. French utility EDF is heading the project and hopes to complete it by 2025.

The Sellafield nuclear plant is considered by some to be one of the world’s riskiest sites. It was originally commissioned during the Cold War and used as a plutonium processing site.

Fourteen years ago, Sellafield LTD. was formed to head up the decommissioning effort.