Nuclear Sites Cost Warning
Jul 10, 2008 - Birmingham Post
The pounds 73 billion cost of decommissioning nuclear power
sites could be increased "significantly", the head of an
influential committee of MPs has warned.
Edward Leigh (Con Gainsborough), chairman of the Public
Accounts Committee said the cost of work over the next five
years had already risen "steeply".
The committee said in a report that the Government was
unable to provide a complete assurance that the cost of
decommissioning new nuclear power stations would not fall
back on future taxpayers.
The MPs recommended that before giving the go-ahead to
new nuclear power stations, the Business Department should
ensure that operators can meet future decommissioning costs.
The report said: "Uncertainty around future costs is understandable,
but uncertainty over the escalating costs of work due to
be carried out imminently is difficult to justify."
A spokesman for the Business Department said: "This is
the first government to have risen to the challenge of establishing
the scale and cost of cleaning up the UK's nuclear legacy.
"As for the building of new nuclear power stations, we've
been clear from the very start that energy companies - not
taxpayers - must meet the full costs of eventual decommissioning
of new nuclear power stations and their full share of waste
management and disposal costs. Government is putting in
place, through the Energy Bill, one of the most robust regulatory
frameworks in the world to ensure that nuclear generators
will meet these costs."
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