Page last updated at 12:11 GMT, Monday, 24 November 2008

Nuclear clean-up's 22bn contract

Sellafield's 12,000 workers will move from the public to the private sector

An international consortium is signing a multi-billion pound contract to clean up the Sellafield nuclear plant.

Nuclear Management Partners (NMP) is taking over the shares in Sellafield Ltd formerly held by BNFL.

The 22bn contract, which promises improved performance and efficiency, is expected to last up to 17 years. The deal is being struck on Monday.

It will mean that the 12,000 workers at the Cumbrian plant will transfer from the public to the private sector.

However, the land, buildings and nuclear materials - including waste - will remain under the ownership of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, the government agency responsible for the clean-up of the UK's civil nuclear legacy.

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