Client Story

Nuclear Decommissioning Authority

Pioneering a safer, more cost-effective way to decommission nuclear power sites

We collaborated with Jacobs, a technical professional services firm, to support the UK’s Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) to transform its approach to asset management, decision-making, and planning. Together, we accelerated the NDA’s ongoing mission to clean up the nation’s nuclear sites safely, securely, and cost-effectively.

The UK currently generates 15 percent of its electricity from nuclear reactors, most of which were built in the 1970s and 80s and were commissioned to last around 30 years. Most of those reactors have come, or are coming, to the end of their lifespan and need to be decommissioned safely and cost-effectively, which is where the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) enters the scene.

Established in 2004 as a non-departmental public body, the NDA oversees one of the largest nuclear decommissioning and remediation programmes in Europe. Across 17 sites it leads the clean-up and decommissioning work, including ensuring nuclear waste is disposed of safety and securely.

Revolutionising asset management

Overseeing the safe, secure, and environmentally responsible dismantling of nuclear power plants and the disposal of nuclear waste is no easy task, to say the least. The NDA oversees the management of a large portfolio of new and legacy nuclear assets and operates in a highly regulated environment. Due to its size – with six different companies each with its own management and governance teams, effectively coming together to form the NDA – and the complexity of the work it was called on to do, it inevitably resulted in slowed decision making and inefficiencies.

The organisation sought a partner who could help them truly live up to their vision for a ‘One NDA’: with joined up vision, strategy, and decision making specifically related to how it managed its assets. And crucially, nearly two decades after its founding, ensure data and analytics were central to how its people operated.

Between ourselves, Jacobs, and the NDA, the team combined nuclear sector expertise alongside digital, data, organisational design, and people and change skills to transform NDA’s asset support capability, resulting in major savings for safety critical, regulated assets. Together, we took the NDA on a digital enterprise asset management transformation journey.

Piecing the way forward with a unique ‘jigsaw’ approach

Our first initiative was to measure how the NDA were performing against the Institute of Asset Management’s six-box model, which we had customised to make appropriate for nuclear. This included assessments against strategy and planning; asset management decision-making; lifecycle delivery; asset information; organisation and people; and risk and review.

Consistent asset information management provides us with a golden opportunity to optimise what we do and hence make best use of our existing and future resources to significantly reduce time, costs, and risks.”
Head of Asset Management, NDA

We took a strategic approach to creating the framework and assessing asset management maturity across the estate, which included workshops with key stakeholders, and reviews of existing requirements and previous assessments.

This provided an opportunity to share best practice and learning from other sectors and to think about a holistic approach to the management of assets including the use of digital tools, data, cyber, and people.”
Global Head of Nuclear, PA

We also created a unique ‘jigsaw’ box model – aligned to the Institute of Asset Management capability groups. The entire exercise enabled us to identify key gaps, and to recommend a roadmap for improvement.

Delivering asset management transformation

After identifying the needs through the ‘jigsaw box’ model, we supported the NDA and the different operating companies within the NDA to implement the new framework through the delivery of an asset management transformation roadmap which focused on:

  1. Understanding best practice from other regulated industries and creating asset information benchmarking for the NDA, and its subsidiaries
  2. Integrating technology and talent by enabling intelligent asset management through a data and digitally driven approach
  3. Building best-in-class standards with an asset transfer standard protocol
  4. Delivering data-led insights through to connected infrastructure
  5. Showcasing success at scale with the Magnox Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) transformation and putting in place the foundations to deliver on this transformation
  6. Defining industry guidance for managing Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) in asset lifecycles
  7. Improving asset performance and compliance with the Nuclear Transport Solutions (NTS) Railside Strategic Asset Management Plan
  8. Empowering decision-makers by making NTS performance data accessible.

As part of this coordinated effort, we enabled the NDA to observe industry best practice and transition from an organisation, focused primarily on the physical assets, to one that thinks about every dimension of transformation. This thinking covers strategy, organisation, and people to ensure the asset management transformation could be implemented and sustained.

Implementing this guidance across the NDA has fundamentally changed the way in which all aspects of assets are considered as they move through their lifecycle and inform associated decisions giving us all confidence that the assets will perform as required.”
Head of Asset Management, NDA

Investing in an iterative, data-led framework for the future

Our partnership helped to bring the ‘One NDA’ vision to life, delivering an industry-leading integrated asset management framework that aligns with the NDA’s strategic goals. It has created a community of asset management leaders who now work together to overcome challenges and demonstrate best practice.

Specifically, the work resulted in enhanced performance and delivery of outcomes, stronger organisational health, improved stakeholder confidence and trust, improved culture, and ultimately increased value for the UK taxpayer.

Within the NDA, this collaboration has also helped to raise the profile of asset management and its importance to operational excellence and expenditure. It has developed a set of crucial procedures and common principles, and it has enabled the NDA and subsidiary companies to work more effectively in managing, and optimising, the vast portfolio of assets.

When we embarked on the aspiration, the outcome sought did not seem possible. What has been delivered in collaboration with PA and Jacobs is a real tangible outcome, produced through true partnership. We couldn’t be more pleased.”
Site Operations Director, Dounreay

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