Page 1: Introduction
Nuclear reactors for the production of energy (electricity) were first used in the mid-1950s. In 2005 the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) was set up by the UK government to clear and decontaminate the UK's civil public sector nuclear sites. NDA is a non-departmental public body formed by the Energy Act 2004. The NDA has its head office in West Cumbria and a network of four offices across the UK.
NDA oversees the decommissioning of nuclear power stations and waste materials. Management of the nuclear sites is contracted out to seven different operators known as Site Licence Companies (SLCs). These SLCs directly manage the clean-up of the 19 public sector nuclear sites across the UK.
The NDA has an annual budget of around £2.2 billion. This comes from the government and NDA's commercial assets. Much of this budget is spent on specialist sub-contractors who clear the sites and remove waste. However, a significant part of the budget over £280 million - is spent on skills support, research and development and employee benefits such as pensions.
NDA's mission is to 'deliver safe, sustainable and publicly acceptable solutions to the challenge of nuclear clean-up and waste management.' To achieve its mission, NDA must ensure the availability of a skilled workforce for nuclear decommissioning and clean-up. This workforce will be able to:
- ensure the highest standards are set for safety, security and environmental management
- create an efficient first-rate industry
- increase value for money and effectively employ resources
- efficiently and effectively eliminate site hazards and develop waste solutions
- win the agreement and support of all stakeholders, e.g. contractors, government, local communities, the public, trade unions and employees.
NDA directly employs around 200 people. Although many roles are focused on science and engineering, NDA also needs people who are qualified in other areas. These are as wide-ranging as project and contract administration, health and safety, communications, finance, legal, human resources and administration.
This case study shows how NDA has put in place a training and development strategy to ensure it has the best people to help deliver its mission.