False data costs British Nuclear #113m

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False data costs BNFL #113m


BRITISH Nuclear Fuels, the state-owned company, has taken a #113 million charge against the cost of dealing with the discovery that workers had falsified data on shipments to overseas customers. The charge includes #40 million in compensation paid to Japan's Kansai Electric Power, which was in receipt of tainted fuel supplied by BNFL. The fuel is to be returned to the UK, although BNFL has yet to decide how to dispose of it.

Contracts with the company were cancelled by major customers in Japan and Germany and an investigation by the UK's nuclear watchdog concluded the company's Sellafield nuclear facility suffered from "systematic management failure".

BNFL's chief executive and half the board resigned and the Government was forced to shelve plans to part-privatise the group by 2002 at the earliest.

The pre-tax loss for the year was #337 million, compared with profits of #218 million previously. Total exceptional charges for the 12 months to March 31 were #411 million. These included #125 million against a revision of the previous year's nuclear liabilities and a #139 million provision for foreseeable losses on long-term contracts, a consequence of poor project evaluation and pricing, Hugh Collum, chairman, said.

At the operating level profits fell to #74 million from #161 million on turnover that rose 32 per cent to #2.06 billion.


-- Martin Thompson (mthom1927@aol.com), September 14, 2000

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