A major framework contract which has delivered £385 million worth of work to decommission some of the most hazardous parts of the Sellafield site has been extended.

The Decommissioning Delivery Partnership (DDP) was launched in 2016 and involves 17 supply chain companies working across three lots to demolish redundant buildings, clean up land and retrieve waste from the site’s legacy storage ponds and silos.

Sellafield Limited, which manages the framework, has now extended it until 2026.

So far, the partnership has been involved in demolishing the diffuser on top of the Windscale Pile Chimney and retrieved large volumes of waste and sludge from the First Generation Magnox Storage Pond.

Just over 32 per cent of the work dished out has gone to small to medium-sized businesses, while the framework has helped create 90 new jobs, with Sellafield Ltd targeting a five-fold increase by the end of the contract in seven years’ time.

The companies involved have recorded 4.5m hours without and accident have also supported Sellafield Ltd’s equality, diversity and inclusion initiatives by training dozens of people to be mental health first aiders.

Glenn McCracken, chairman of the DDP programme board for Sellafield Ltd, said: “DDP has gained a reputation for being a fast and flexible way to get work done on the Sellafield site.

“Every working day at Sellafield there are an estimated 800 people carrying out work through the DDP framework; from crane operators to scaffolders, and project planners to electricians.

“We have taken on work through the framework which has been much broader than the vast decommissioning remit, including constructing the new high-security fencing and adapting an existing plant so that it can accept waste from the Magnox Swarf Storage Silo.”

Future projects under the DDP framework include removing the heat exchangers around the redundant Calder Hall reactors and turbine halls, the demolition of structures including Windscale Pile Chimney and aiding the ongoing clean-up of the Thorp and Magnox reprocessing plants.

Lot one of DDP – which focuses on remediation, pile fuel cladding silos and storage ponds – comprises Integrated Decommissioning Solutions, which included locally-based Westlakes Engineering; Nexus Decommissioning Alliance; and Cumbria Nuclear Solutions Ltd, which brings together Jacobs, React, James Fisher Nuclear, Shepley Engineers, Westinghouse Electric Company, WYG Engineering.

The Decommissioning Alliance works on lot two, focused on the First Generation Magnox Storage Pond, while Magnox Swarf Storage Silo work under lot three is undertaken by i3 Decommissioning Partners – a collaboration between Wood, Altrad Hertel, West Cumbrian-based Shepley Engineers.

i3 Decommissioning Partners are currently vying for the title of Best large Business at the in-Cumbria Business Awards, while Alex Dawson, who works for i3 as a member of the Wood team, is a finalist in the Apprentice/ Trainee of the Year category.