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Taxpayers to pay the price for soaring radioactive waste storage - 31st October


Repeated Freedom of Information requests have revealed that taxpayers will foot the bill if the costs of Hinkley Point’s radioactive waste storage overrun the developers’ liability cap set by the government.

Dr Doug Parr, Greenpeace chief scientist, claims that “It’s hardly surprising as it doesn’t look good for the government’s claim that they are trying to keep costs down for hardworking families”, and notes that “The government has attempted to keep the costs to the taxpayer…under wraps from the start”.

The documents reveal that significant cost overruns for the storage of radioactive waste and reactor decommissioning have been transferred from Hinkley’s operator, onto the taxpayer. Dr David Lowry, senior research fellow at the Institute for Resource and Security Studies in Cambridge, Massachusetts, highlights the history of the nuclear industry when it comes to cost overruns, and notes that accidents and technical issues such as happened recently in Japan would leave the taxpayer with billions of pounds to pay for the clear-up after it has ceased generating revenue. Lowry claims that “the government cares more about the economic future of a foreign power generator than British taxpayers”. The revealed documents show that in return for the liability cap, Hinkley’s operator will pay the government a risk fee, albeit a low figure to reflect the high level of confidence that the cap will not be breached.

To read the full article from The Guardian, click here.

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