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Cost of Nuclear Waste Could Kill Off Plans For New Reactors PDF Print E-mail
Earth News
Sunday, 30 March 2008 14:04

Cost of Nuclear Waste Could Kill Off Plans For New Reactors

Greenpeace - UK - March 27, 2008 - The government says the decision on building new nuclear reactors will be entirely up to the market and utility companies will have to pay their "full share" of decommissioning and waste management costs, but Gordon Brown is going to have to cook the books like a cordon bleu chef he if wants to attract new investment.

While Brown teams up with French president Nicholas Sarkozy at Emirates stadium today to push through his dream of a new nuclear era, a government advisor is publishing a new cost analysis that suggests energy companies cannot be charged a fully commercial price for waste disposal without "killing the prospect" of a new generation of nuclear reactors.

The analysis by Ian Jackson, who has worked in the nuclear industry for over 20 years and is a former nuclear regulator, says that a "fully commercial price would make disposal far too expensive, killing the prospects of any new nuclear build programme in Britain".


That means that the government could not charge energy companies the rates already being paid by foreign utility companies storing waste at Sellafield - which, commercially speaking, they should be - without scuppering any plans for new nuclear reactors. The government would need to cap costs at six to 12 per cent of their actual commercial value to make it worth while for investors.

"The problem is that unfortunately the fully commercial price would make disposal far too expensive, killing the prospects of any new nuclear build programme in Britain," said Mr Jackson.

"In plain language, the energy companies want fixed price caps on nuclear waste disposal; an understandable position given that the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority's waste management cost forecasts have escalated by 9 per cent annually in recent years."

Storing waste from the new reactors alongside waste from existing reactors in the

Last Updated on Sunday, 30 March 2008 14:04
 

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