Nichols provide Sellafield with strategic support and expertise, bringing clarity and confidence to complex and challenging programmes. Our work with Sellafield provides confidence and assurance that their decommissioning programme will be safely delivered.

A complex decommissioning programme at Sellafield, spanning several decades, involving considerable technical uncertainty and huge political sensitivity, had suffered a crisis of stakeholder confidence and no longer had a credible baseline plan.

We were engaged to rapidly regenerate a programme baseline and to establish the management capability to deliver the plan. The aim was to re-build confidence with the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, Regulators and government.


Using our strategic systems planning approach, we undertook a rapid discovery phase to understand the current state, including the deployment of a diagnostic tool to benchmark the quality of the project schedules which would underpin the future baseline. We established a plan to address both the baseline content and the programme management capability, taking time to gain the support of key external and internal stakeholders.

We created an integrated baseline addressing every facet of the programme, including requirements, benefits, scope, assumptions, breakdown structures, schedule, cost, quality and risk. Alongside this, we coached those responsible to create, develop and implement a suite of programme management strategies, based on strong principles and clarity of responsibility.

Decommissioning programmes
for a safer future

Our work has provided a firm basis for direction and prioritisation of activity across the programme. In addition, the baseline provides a strong foundation for assessing risks and opportunities, and making informed decisions for change.

The baseline and programme management approach have ultimately enabled Sellafield to secure approval of its programme business case for the first time, which in turn will provide the framework for project sanctions and expedite future delivery.

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