New nuclear sites must set up own clean-up fund

Operators of new nuclear power stations will be required to begin paying into an independent fund to cover decommissioning costs from the moment they start generating electricity, says the government.

The Energy Bill introduced to Parliament in January will require operators to draw up a funded decommissioning programme approved by the Secretary of State before they start to construct any new nuclear power stations. It will also require operators to put aside sufficient funds to cover the installation’s waste management and decommissioning costs (ENDS Report 396, pp 41-42).

In February the Business Department (BERR) issued draft guidance on the funding of decommissioning.1 Split into two parts, the first sets out the technical issues to be addressed in a decommissioning and waste management plan, while the second addresses the financing of the plan.

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