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Company involved in decommissioning of the Dounreay nuclear plant has gone into administration

By Gordon Calder

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A COMPANY, which was involved in the decommissioning of the Dounreay nuclear plant, has gone into administration.

James Fisher Nuclear (JFN) had a base at Bower in premises previously occupied by Nicolson Engineering and was part of Nuclear Decommissioning Ltd (NDL) – a joint venture which was set up to decommission the Caithness site and others throughout the UK.

JFN was acquired by Myneration, a wholly-owned investment vehicle of Rcapital Partners, from Cumbria-based James Fisher & Sons in March. It is based in Preston, Lancashire.

It is understood that around 300 people are employed by JFN in total, including staff at Bower.

Administrators at FTI Consulting described the news as "a tremendously sad day for everyone who has been involved in the business" and said in a statement: "JFN Limited has been a market-leading technical services business to the UK nuclear decommissioning sector for over 30 years. However, it has incurred losses in recent years associated with a number of uneconomical long-term contracts which have resulted in a significant funding requirement for the business.

"Over the past few months, the directors and key stakeholders have worked tirelessly to try and safeguard the future of the business. Regrettably, the company has insufficient cash resources to continue to trade beyond the short term and the directors have concluded that there is no longer any reasonable prospect of a sale. Therefore, the directors have had no choice but appoint administrators."

The James Fisher Nuclear building at Bower
The James Fisher Nuclear building at Bower

The statement added: "The administration team will focus on working with employees, customers, sub-contractors and suppliers to effect a wind-down of the majority of operations over the next few weeks, while continuing to explore interest in parts of the business. We are hopeful of being able to conclude a transaction for the instrumentation division within the coming days.

"The administrators are working closely with employees affected by the closure of the business to ensure they receive the support they need during this difficult time to assist with their claims for redundancy and other compensatory payments. Our priority is to ensure that all employees made redundant are assisted in processing their claims with immediate effect. We will be circulating correspondence to all staff as soon as possible which will outline the support available to complete redundancy payment forms."

JFN was a supplier of specialist engineering, manufacturing and technical services to the UK's nuclear decommissioning industry.

Nuclear Decommissioning Ltd included JFN, along with three other companies – REACT Engineering, Shepley Engineering Ltd and Tetra-Tech – and was formed at the start of 2019.

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