Committee examines ongoing delays and overspend on nuclear defence projects

09 March 2020

The Ministry of Defence currently has a number of large and complex construction projects for facilities at nuclear-regulated sites.

In January 2020 the NAO published a report examining building or replacing of three of these nuclear regulated sites – the BAE Systems shipyard at Barrow-in-Furness, the Rolls Royce core production site at Raynesway and the Atomic Weapons Establishment site at Burghfield  – that now have a value of £2.5bn after these projects experienced a cumulative £1.35bn cost increase and delays of between 1.7 and 6.3 years.

The report also expressed disappointment that the challenges affecting these projects are not unique, and have in fact been experienced by the Ministry of Defence for decades.

Key facts

  • £2.5bn current forecast cost of the Ministry of Defence’s three infrastructure projects under construction at its nuclear-regulated sites, October 2019
  • £1.35bn total increase (115%) in project costs between initial and latest position for the three projects reviewed
  • £647m estimate of the total cost increase across the three projects arising from the Ministry of Defence starting construction too early
  • 24% percentage attributed to three projects, by their initial value, of the Ministry of Defence’s 52 current Nuclear Enterprise infrastructure projects, initially valued at £4.9 billion

The Committee will ask officials from the Ministry of Defence what lessons it has learnt as it completes these projects, and how the Government will be revising the projects’ commercial, regulatory and governance arrangements to ensure value for money for the taxpayer


Wednesday 11 March 2020 in Committee Room 8, Palace of Westminster

At 9.40am

  • Stephen Lovegrove - Permanent Secretary at Ministry of Defence
  • Charlie Pate - Finance Scrutiny and Plans Director at Ministry of Defence
  • Ian Booth - Chief Executive at Submarine Delivery Agency
  • Vanessa Nicholls - Director General, Nuclear at Defence Nuclear Organisation, Ministry of Defence

Further information

Image: Crown copyright

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