30 November 2006 | Paul Snell
British Nuclear Group has started a ground-breaking, procurement-led, working relationship with its suppliers to improve the decommissioning of nuclear reactors.
The company has set up a partnership between four companies working together to make the decommissioning of Trawsfynydd nuclear reactor more efficient. The Trawsfynydd Strategic Integrated Framework model copies the design of similar frameworks in the construction and water industries, but is a new approach for the nuclear sector.
The framework was drawn up following a review by the procurement team at the site, which was trying to balance the risks of decommissioning the site against the costs.
Simon Parsons, director at the site, told SM
: "There was a fair amount of risk in dismantling the 'ponds complex', which was where the fuel from the reactor was separated and processed. There was uncertainty over some lower-cost options, so it was not best to leave it to a traditional contract."
The contract is a five-year partnership between BNG and three suppliers: Amec, Costain and Aker Kvaerner. Each supplier brings a different area of expertise and set of skills to the decommissioning project.
BNG said the framework offered both increased safety, thanks to additional expertise, and greater sustainability, due to the security of the longer-term contract.
Parsons said there had been a lot to learn over the last six months, in understanding the
different cultures that existed between the partners, and it was something they would continue to work on.
Siôn Edwards, commercial manager at the site, said: "We want to create stability, and to grow the right relationships and processes."