Commenting on the decision, secretary of state for trade and industry Alistair Darling, said: “I have concluded that there are real benefits to the Project Services and the Magnox businesses in separating them from the process of choosing the right contractor for Sellafield,” the reprocessing facility located in Cumbria.

Accepting the joint recommendation of the boards of BNFL and the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA), ministers agreed that the best solution for the company would be to split up BNG before selling it. Under the proposals BNG will continue to operate the Sellafield site until the NDA can put in place a new contractor, potentially the middle of 2008, and BNFL will conduct individual sales of its other businesses on an early timescale to complete during the course of 2007.

Key business areas of BNG include the management of the Sellafield and Magnox reactor sites along with the Project Services specialist contractor which is looking to expand non-NDA work.

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