[The Guardian] Washington Group International yesterday became the first US business to state categorically it wants to take over management of Sellafield and build new atomic plants in Britain.

Just weeks ahead of an expected recommendation for a new generation of nuclear power stations in the UK, Washington directors said they planned to put in a bid for British Nuclear Group, the operating arm of the state-owned BNFL. The group will be sold in 2007 for an expected price of £500m to £1bn.

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The US firm, stock-listed on Nasdaq in New York, is also interested in managing the intermediate atomic waste site at Drigg in Cumbria. It could also volunteer to manage any high-level repository, deep underground, should that solution get the final authority from government. more