The business of nuclear decommissioning
A Nuclear Decommissioning Authority case study

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Page 3: Mission and organisational objectives


The NDA has established its mission as: 'to deliver a world class programme of safe, cost-effective, accelerated and environmentally responsible decommissioning of the UK's civil nuclear legacy, in an open and transparent manner and with due regard to the socio-economic effects on our communities'.

What does this mean in practice? It is helpful to look at some of the component parts of the definition:

  • Safe safety is the number one priority in decommissioning nuclear sites. This includes the safety of the people carrying out the work and the local communities.
  • Cost effective carrying out the work using contractors who provide good value for money (coupled with safety). Giving the best possible value to the taxpayer.
  • Environmentally responsible using the best available environmentally-friendly techniques.
  • Open and transparent way keeping nothing secret, engaging the public and other stakeholders in conversations about the process and future plans and objectives at all times.
  • Socio-economic effects on communities looking at how closing down plants will affect the livelihoods of people that work in the plants and in local businesses and looking to reduce any negative impacts.

A mission statement:

  1. gives a sense of direction
  2. helps to motivate members of an organisation
  3. lets outsiders know what the organisation stands for
  4. shapes the values of the organisation.

The NDA's mission shapes its values, which are:

  • safety
  • security
  • environmental protection
  • value for money
  • openness and transparency.

Organisational objectives

Objectives are more precise than the mission of an organisation. Well-focused objectives usually have a number of characteristics. In business we say that objectives need to be SMART. This stands for:

  • Specific so it is clear and easy to understand what needs to be achieved
  • Measurable we need to be able to measure whether the objectives have been met or not
  • Achievable there is no point in setting objectives that can't be achieved because this will be de-motivating and leave the organisation open to criticism - 'you failed to meet your objectives'
  • Realistic the organisation needs to have the appropriate resources to meet its objectives
  • Time-related there needs to be a specific calendar for achieving the objectives.

examples of decomisioningNDA's core objective is to make sure that the 20 civil public sector nuclear sites are decommissioned and cleaned up safely, securely, cost-effectively and in ways that protect the environment for this and future generations.

If we examine this objective it is easy to see that it is:

  • specific - it specifies that these 20 sites will be cleaned up
  • measurable - the objective will be achieved when these sites are cleaned up
  • achievable - given government support and backing
  • realistic - the NDA has set out a plan to make sure that appropriate contractors are appointed to decommission the sites
  • time-related activities are scheduled for each site on the NDA's annual plan.

The NDA is responsible for creating a plan to clean up a range of sites, including:

  • those nuclear sites and facilities which were developed in the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s to support the Government's research programmes and deal with the wastes, materials and spent fuels produced by those programmes
  • the Magnox fleet of nuclear power stations built in the 1960s and 1970s. They include the plant and facilities at Sellafield used for the reprocessing of Magnox fuel and all associated wastes and materials.

Nuclear Decommissioning Authority | The business of nuclear decommissioning