Page last updated at 12:40 GMT, Monday, 30 March 2009 13:40 UK

Government to sell nuclear assets

Sellafield plant in Cumbria
UKAEA Ltd helps decommission plants in the UK and overseas

The government has announced that it is putting the commercial arm of the UK's Atomic Energy Agency, UKAEA Limited, up for sale.

UKAEA Ltd provides services such as waste management and decommissioning of old nuclear power plants, as well as supporting the building of new plants.

The sale is expected to be completed by the end of the year.

The government currently owns all of UKAEA and has said that it will consider retaining a stake in it.

"As the UK moves towards an era of nuclear new-build, this sale will increase efficiency, competition and value for money for the taxpayer in the decommissioning and clean-up work of old nuclear power stations," said business secretary Lord Mandelson.

It will be the latest part of the government's nuclear sale - it is in the process of selling British Energy, of which it owns 35%, to France's EDF.

Other European power companies have been preparing themselves to bid to build new nuclear plants around Britain.

The French energy group GDF Suez and Spain's Iberdrola have created a partnership to build new plants.

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