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7th March 2019

Evening Discussion Dinner: Lessons from Decommissioning

Discussion Dinner

Weetwood Hall Estate, Otley Road, Leeds, LS16 5PS

The World faces an unprecedented challenge: much of its infrastructure is reaching the end of its life. The combined effects of the move to decarbonisation and aging investment means that trillions of dollars of infrastructure decommissioning will need to take place.

Decommissioning of infrastructure refers to the suite of processes involved in withdrawing a facility from service at the end of its life, deconstructing and dismantling it, and removing the components for reuse, recycling or disposal. Until very recently, decommissioning has been widely overlooked: focus has historically been on high-status ‘new build’ projects. However, a plethora of technical, economic, social and environmental challenges, of large magnitude and deep urgency, have emerged as the decommissioning of infrastructure begins in earnest.
The scale of the global decommissioning task is gargantuan and defies accurate estimation. Not only is it impossible to know how much infrastructure is being decommissioned, it is impossible to know whether the decision taken to decommission in the first place was the correct one. And decommissioning costs can spiral out of control. (The UK has seen estimates of its cost of nuclear decommissioning costs rise from £40bn in 2005 to over £110bn in 2015)

Against this background, this discussion dinner provides attendees with an opportunity to consider the imminent impact that decommissioning will have on their own organisation and the lessons they need to learn now around the design and delivery of infrastructure to avoid these issues in the future.

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