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Glowing support for nuclear power

2006 REVIEW

NUCLEAR power is back and being talked about by many as the fuel of the future.

Contractors can look forward to a work boom with £70 billion-worth of nuclear decommissioning up for grabs and a huge programme of multi-billion pound new build projects in the pipeline.

This year has seen several major contracts awarded, with Costain bagging a £90 million decommissioning deal at Sellafield in Cumbria and Laing O'Rourke landing a £40 million deal at the same site.

And the ruling bodies of the industry are also changing with the proposed sale of the British Nuclear Group.

Earlier this year the Government received a bid from US conglomerate Fluor, proposing to buy the whole of BNG, the British nuclear decommissioning business for £400 million.

But the Government turned it down and decided to break the business up into four separate areas which were put out to the market and are likely to be snapped up by another large US or foreign firm.

Meanwhile at the political party conferences in the autumn the debate continued.

The Tories said they were going to focus on green energy sources which angered many experts and analysts who have been long saying that the only way to actually reach energy and carbon free targets is to embrace nuclear power.

Both the Scottish and the Irish government have also shown reluctance to support the nuclear new build programme.

But in spite of all of the opposition, reviews in the planning process and the Labour Government's clear support shows that the nuclear new build programme is likely to become a reality and contractors are set to reap the benef its.