Union welcomes nuclear lab contract award

Union welcomes nuclear lab contract award

Prospect has welcomed the government’s decision to award the contract to run the National Nuclear Laboratory to a consortium comprising Serco, Battelle and the University of Manchester’s Dalton Nuclear Institute.

Created from the former Nexia Solutions, the new organisation will be owned by the government but managed by the commercial operator.

“This is the best of both worlds and marks the end of an era completing the government’s vision for the former BNFL,” said Prospect National Secretary Mike Graham on behalf of 15,000 scientists, engineers and specialists in the nuclear and radioactive waste management industry.

“This model retains the UK’s nuclear research and development capability in the public sector. At the same time the new commercial management will bring in the additional expertise to give the National Nuclear Laboratory the opportunity to win new commercial contracts. This should be of benefit to UK plc and to those enterprises involved in the nuclear renaissance.

“Prospect welcomes the new management team from Serco, Battelle and the Dalton Institute. We have worked with Serco, who are part of the winning consortium, over many years. They are experienced within the sector and they have a good record of working with Prospect.

“It is good news that NNL’s ownership remains in the public sector. The laboratory’s employees have rare skills and it was vital to maintain these in the public sector to ensure that we have the expertise to support nuclear decommissioning and new build.”

Staff terms and conditions are protected under the new arrangement. “Prospect secured safeguards from the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform on terms such as pensions before the contract was even awarded,” said Graham.