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Nuclear Power: Costs

Volume 496: debated on Thursday 16 July 2009

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate he has made of the average cost to households of Exchequer funding and allowances schemes provided for the nuclear industry in respect of (a) the production of nuclear energy and (b) nuclear waste disposal in each of the last three years. (278405)

I have been asked to reply.

(a) There is no Exchequer funding and allowances schemes provided for the nuclear industry in respect of the production of nuclear energy.

(b) The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority's mission to clean up and decommissioning the civil public nuclear legacy sites, which includes two operational Magnox nuclear power stations, is publicly funded through a mixture of direct government funding and commercial income from the remaining operational units on the legacy sites. The cost of delivering the NDA's mission is some £2.9 billion a year. The cost of the production of nuclear energy at the NDA's Oldbury and Wylfa sites is met through the income generated, with the balance used to offset the cost to the taxpayer of decommissioning the legacy.

In addition, as part of British Energy's financial restructuring in 2005, the Government took responsibility for British Energy's historic nuclear fuel liabilities managed by BNFL (now managed by NDA) at an average cost of some £200 million per annum for the first 10 years, and falling thereafter, until 2029. The Nuclear Liabilities Fund has also made payments related to the cost of nuclear waste disposal and decommissioning of £3.5 million in the year to 31 March 2009.