Government creative accountacy to subsidise radioactive waste industry?

Posted by bex — 4 July 2002 at 8:00am - Comments
On 4th July 2002 the Government published its White Paper Managing the Nuclear Legacy which contained plans for dealing with our worsening radioactive waste crisis that has accumulated over 50 years.

The White Paper announced plans to establish the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (originally called the Liabilities Management Authority - LMA) to assume responsibility on behalf of the taxpayer for the estimated £40 billion* bill for cleaning up the radioactive waste mountain. This move effectively bailed out the technically insolvent BNFL, freeing it to expand its nuclear waste-creating businesses. The proposals fail to address the root cause of the problems of radioactive waste; namely its generation from nuclear power station operation, fuel fabrication and the reprocessing of spent fuel. Worse, the NDA removes over £40 billion* of debt from the accounts of nuclear companies (such as BNFL) that created the problem, freeing them to pursue an aggressive nuclear expansion programme.

NB. This figure eventually rose to £48bn, but in August 2005, the NDA announced another £8bn increase to £56bn. If the decision is taken to reclassify plutonium as waste, rather than an asset, another £10bn would be added (Source: The Guardian, August 11th, 2005.



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