Nuclear waste body NDA in comms review

The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) has placed its entire PR business up for grabs.

The brief includes incumbent Bell Pottinger Communications' remit of strategic counsel, PA and stakeholder engagement. It also covers promotion of the NDA's role in encouraging local economic regeneration.

The clean-up body has responsibility for the decommissioning of 20 nuclear sites across the UK. NDA head of comms Bill Hamilton said: "The plants we are decommissioning have been supplying well-paid skilled jobs for 40 years and are an important part of the regional economy. We need to help these communities move on."

The body is contributing towards the opening of a National Skills Academy in Cumbria, an example of the type of project it wants to promote nationally. It may hire more than one agency to handle the work, for which a tender document was issued earlier this week.

An appointment is expected by the end of the year. Bell Pottinger has held the brief since last summer. It is believed likely to repitch.

The Committee on Radioactive Waste Management (CoRWM) this week recommended that Britain's waste should be buried deep underground. Yet the capacity to store the 478,000 cubic metres of waste now held in existing plants, plus future waste, would require a chamber five times the size of the Albert Hall, at a cost of around £75bn.

Should this plan get the thumbs-up, the Government would have to pick a location. It will respond to the CoRWM report - which the NDA supports - in October.

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