The UK’s Nuclear Decommissioning Authority and UK-based nuclear fuel company Urenco have agreed non-binding commercial principles to support a potential transfer of the NDA-owned Capenhurst site to Urenco. The site was host to a uranium enrichment plant that ceased operations in 1982.

Formal discussions will now commence with the aim of achieving final agreement by mid-2011. The proposal would transfer the NDA-owned land and operations to Urenco under a long lease and services contract. This is anticipated to reduce NDA’s net liabilities for managing and clearing the site, provide continued employment opportunities for the site workforce and pave the way for Urenco to invest in new facilities as the wordwide nuclear renaissance begins to shape up.

There are still several detailed issues to close out from a commercial perspective and to the satisfaction of NDA’s stakeholders. If negotiations are successful, implementation of the new arrangements will commence in 2012, subject to licensing and other approvals. Work has already been undertaken to establish a set of common goals and principles, to ensure that the interests of all parties are well managed, including employees from both organisations.

This is the second such deal for the NDA. In 2009 it announced plans to sell its Springfields fuel manufacturing facility to Westinghouse.