The shake-up, which follows a damning report by the Nuclear Installations Inspectorate in February, will affect more than half of the BNFL board, including the safety and human resources directors. The departures of the three directors is said to be by mutual agreement. All six non-executive directors will also leave the company once their contracts expire.
Hugh Collum, chairman of the board said: ‘These changes are fundamental to create a new basis for the business going forward. Transparency and accountability will be our watchwords. I am convinced these changes will ensure BNFL has both a safe and successful future.
BNFL’s attempts to restore confidence in the plant’s future have suffered because of safety threats, falsified quality checks and lost contracts. The government has had to postpone plans to sell off half the company. Some of BNFL’s biggest customers, Japan and Germany, have also put fuel supply contracts on hold.
Collum yesterday pledged to implement most if not all of the inspectorate’s 43 recommendations. They include the recruitment of new professional staff, an enhanced safety and quality system and a more streamlined organisational structure aimed at improving accountability and commercial capability.
Speaking at announcement of the reshuffle, Sellafield’s new chief executive Norman Askew said: ‘This has been a difficult time for BNFL. I do not underestimate the challenges but I am confident everyone in the company can rise to them. I am determined to implement these changes successfully to make a real and lasting reform of BNFL.’