Secret government papers reveal taxpayers will have to pay for storing dangerous waste from EDF and other operators
The government has finally been forced to release a policy docuent after campaign pressures from Greenpeace and others showing that if – as is sure as houses – decommissioning and storage costs rise above an agreed cap, the taxpayer will foot the extra bill.
EDF, our only current nuclear operator, would have its contributions capped, moving the risk to taxpayers.
The argument is that if the true storage risks had to be met by EDF and two other companies to come they wouldn’t be able to attract any long term financing.
The cheek of it is that the contribution which EDF will have to pay is regarded as low and and is called a “risk fee”. A “no risk fee” would be more accurate. The public is nevertheless still told that nuclear operators must pay the full cost of decommissioning and their full share (?) of waste management and disposal (?) costs.
Meanwhile – the German government has told its four nuclear companies that they have to pay up – and quick – to a state controlled fund of €23.6 bn for waste storage. This is €6.2bn more than they originally offered. That’s 33% (ish), an indication of the scale of shortfall for the UK, which has a vastly bigger nuclear “fleet” ... not forgetting that UK taxpayers are/have been footing the total bill for the first era Magnox decommissionings already.