BEIS Committee members visit Sellafield site to see the massive task of cleaning up the UK’s nuclear legacy

Posted On: 
6th July 2018

Three members of the BEIS Select Committee visited the Sellafield site to learn about the challenges and progress being made in reducing hazards & risks at the site.

Peter Kyle MP, Mark Pawsey MP and BEIS Committee Chair Rachel Reeves MP at the Sellafield site with Sellafield's Head of Development and Community Relations Jamie Reed and Nuclear Decommissioning Authority CEO David Peattie
Credit: 
Sellafield Ltd

Decommissioning the congested Sellafield site is the most challenging environmental remediation project in Europe. Three members of the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Select Committee visited the site, which is owned by a Government agency the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA), to learn about the challenges and progress being made in reducing hazards and risks at the site.  
 
The Committee’s primary focus is on the management of radioactive waste, and Chair of the Committee, Rachel Reeves MP (Leeds West) was accompanied on the visit by fellow Committee members Mark Pawsey MP (Rugby) and Peter Kyle MP (Hove). The MPs witnessed some of the innovative work being carried out on one of the high priority plants on the site. They were joined by NDA CEO David Peattie and Sellafield Ltd’s Jamie Reed. 
 
The Committee is currently considering the UK Government’s Draft National Policy Statement for Geological Disposal Infrastructure. To gain a better understanding the members met Radioactive Waste Management Ltd’s Managing Director Bruce McKirdy. RWM is a subsidiary of the NDA and responsible for building a UK facility for the geological disposal of waste. 
 
Commenting on the visit Rachel Reeves said, “This visit was very helpful to Committee members to allow us to get a greater understanding of the issues around the clean-up of the UK’s nuclear waste and to help inform our scrutiny of the draft National Policy Statement for Geological Disposal Infrastructure. Witnessing the important work at Sellafield, and speaking to a range of staff at the facility, we were able to get a better sense of the Innovative developments in waste management and decommissioning which are taking place at the site. It was also encouraging to hear about Sellafield’s efforts to encourage more women into the nuclear sector and have the opportunity to speak to people such as Dorothy Gradden OBE, Head of Legacy Ponds, about their current role and their career in the industry”.
 
David Peattie said: “It was our pleasure to host this visit. The Committee has a vast and varied amount of business to consider elsewhere so we really appreciate the time they invested in coming to see the site and witness our progress. I hope they found it worthwhile and we look forward to seeing them again in the future.”
 
Former MP, now Sellafield's Head of Development and Community Relations Jamie Reed said, “We were very pleased to welcome the Committee to Sellafield to see the massive task we have in cleaning up the UK’s nuclear legacy.  It’s so important for parliament to understand how vital our work is to the UK and the benefits it brings to our communities.” 
 
As part of their itinerary the Committee visited the National Nuclear Laboratory to learn about the important research methods being developed to reduce the volume of radioactive waste. 
 
The Committee members also met Sellafield trade union representatives and heard about their campaigns to attract projects that provide quality employment for the communities of west Cumbria in the future.