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Energy: Nuclear Power Stations

Volume 718: debated on Thursday 25 March 2010

Statement

I have today issued two consultation documents relating to the arrangements for the financing of nuclear decommissioning and waste handling for new nuclear power stations.

It is the Government’s policy that the owners and operators of new nuclear power stations must set aside funds over the generating life of the power station to cover the full costs of decommissioning and their full share of waste management and disposal costs. The two consultations published today represent significant progress in the delivery of that policy.

The first consultation is on “a Methodology to Determine a Fixed Unit Price for Waste Disposal and Updated Cost Estimates for Nuclear Decommissioning, Waste Management and Waste Disposal”.

This consultation document sets out:

changes to the Government’s policy framework for setting a fixed unit price as a result of feedback from stakeholders received during the pre-consultation process;

the main stages of the proposed methodology to determine a fixed unit price and worked examples of how it would be calculated using this methodology; and

the Government’s updated estimates of the costs for decommissioning, waste management and waste disposal of new nuclear power stations.

The second consultation is on “the Financing of Nuclear Decommissioning and Waste Handling Regulations”, which proposes to implement regulations that will seek to:

recover the costs associated with the consideration of a funded decommissioning programme (FDP), including the costs of obtaining advice in relation to the FDP or in relation to the information about the FDP;

amend the procedure as set out in the Energy Act 2008 for modifying an approved FDP;

implement reporting requirements;

clarify requirements for the verification of a FDP; and

to define the financing elements of FDP.

This is also a consultation on a draft order to make certain matters associated with a FDP designated technical matters.

We want to hear from members of the public, industry, financial and other institutions that may be involved in the financing of new nuclear power stations, non-governmental organisations and any other organisation or body with an interest.

The consultations will close on Friday 18 June 2010. Copies of the consultations will be placed in the Libraries of House.