Nuclear authority still leaderless as negotiations hit impasse over pay

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The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA), the body charged with the £73bn job of cleaning up Britain's radioactive waste, has relaunched its hunt for a chief executive after talks with a candidate broke down over pay.

Richard Waite has been acting chief executive since Ian Roxburgh resigned last summer. It is understood that two candidates were shortlisted, but that the NDA could not find the money to match the requirement of its preferred candidate. The NDA has now switched headhunters in a bid to find a boss.

A new leader is desperately needed as the NDA is poised to start an internet auction of sites for which nuclear builders can bid to construct new reactors.

An industry source said: "It would be ridiculous if the Government's nuclear programme was put in jeopardy by not being willing to pay the right price for good people."