Saturday 5 January 2019 2:43 pm

Former chiefs of UK's nuclear body launch legal action over Magnox fiasco

The former bosses of the UK’s nuclear body are caught in a legal battle over an investigation into the botched handling of the Magnox nuclear decommissioning contract.

The former chairman of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) Stephen Henwood and the organisation’s former chief executive John Clarke are trying to block the publication of a critical report into the contract, which cost the taxpayer £120m, Sky News reported.

Former National Grid chief executive Steve Holliday completed an independent inquiry into the handling of the contract several months ago, however Henwood and Clark have raised objections to Holliday’s process.

Sky News reported that the pair sought an injunction before Christmas to stop the report being submitted to government.

The £6.1bn Magnox contract, which was awarded to the Cavendish-Fluor Partnership in March 2014, related to the clean-up of 12 nuclear sites across the UK.

The procurement process was challenged in the High Court by another bidder alleging that the NDA had broken the rules, and two years later the court ruled that the NDA has “committed multiple, manifest errors in evaluating the (losing) RSS bid and the (winning) CFP bid", according to Holliday’s interim report.

A National Audit Office report also found that the NDA’s “fundamental failures in the Magnox contract procurement raise serious questions about its understanding of procurement regulations and its ability to manage large, complex procurements."