Healthy future for King’s Cliffe hazardous waste site despite fall in UK disposal of low level radioactive material

Augean chief executive Dr Stewart Davies.

Augean chief executive Dr Stewart Davies.

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A hazardous waste centre at King’s Cliffe still has a strong future despite a drop in the amount of low level nuclear material that it has to handle, bosses have pledged.

The reassurance from waste specialists Augean comes after it was revealed that the amount of low level radioactive waste brought to the centre had fallen by half.

Its centre at King’s Cliffe, near Oundle, dealt with 867 tonnes of low level radioactive waste in the first half of the year - compared to 1,747 tonnes in the first half of 2015.

According to the firm’s interim results for the six months to June 30 this year, revenue from the disposal and treatment of the low level radioactive waste fell by 53 per cent to £0.6 million with operating profit sliding into the red with a loss of £0.1 million.

The company says the problem is due to a slowdown in the rate of UK Government spending on nuclear decommissioning since May last year.

Augean chief executive Stewart Davies said: “It is frustrating because over the years we have invested in the capacity to handle this type of waste.

“We will have to wait and see if the Government attitude changes

“But this type of waste is very small part of what we do at King’s Cliffe.

“Overall the level of activity has made it a bumper year for us.”

As well as its King’s Cliffe site, Augean has a non-hazardous landfill site in Old Leicester Road, Wansford, and across the two sites employs 19 staff - up from 16 last December.

Net revenue for the firm, which also operates sites across the UK, for the six months grew by 18 per cent to £36.8 million and profits before tax rose by one per cent to £3.1 million.

Dr Davies said: “The group has performed well in the first half of 2016, with particularly strong performances from our energy and construction business and industry and infrastructure business.

“The group is well-placed to continue to take advantage of growth opportunities and to deliver profit growth for 2016.

Dr Davies added: “The group is confident of delivering full year financial results in line with market expectations.”