Companies building nuclear reactors in the UK will have to meet the full cost of their future closure and clean-up, setting money aside from day one, the government will say on Friday. Following on from last month¹s white paper on nuclear power, the government will on Friday set out the draft framework for how the decommissioning of new nuclear reactors would be paid for. It will be a criminal offence not to comply with the approved arrangements and the Government is taking powers to guard against unforeseen shortfalls. Under the new guidance, companies must produce a detailed funded
decommissioning programme before they get approval to build nuclear reactors. This will include a commitment to pay into a secure and independently managed fund to cover all the costs of closing down the power stations and rehabilitating the sites, as well as the cost of disposing of the nuclear waste. The government will appoint a number of experts from the nuclear, insurance and banking industries to sit on a Nuclear Liabilities Financing Assurance Board, which will monitor the companies decommissioning funds.
FT 22nd Feb 2008 more >>
The Government is concerned that a lack of competition in the UK nuclear industry threatens to distort decision-making in the race to build a new generation of nuclear power plants. In an interview with The Times, Malcolm Wicks, the Energy Minister, said the Government would look critically at British Energy’s ownership of eight of the most attractive UK sites for new reactors. “We want to see proper competition here,” he said. “We don’t want to see some sort of cagey deal between one company and another company . . . We have got to facilitate proper competition.” Mr Wicks’s comments come amid rising concern that British Energy, which generates a sixth of Britain’s electricity, could have undue influence over where new plants are built. There is a limited number of UK sites where nuclear plants could be built and local people would be supportive. These include the sites owned by British Energy, a company in which the Government has a near40 per cent stake, and those owned by the Government through the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority.
Times 22nd Feb 2008 more >>
THE OWNER of British Gas hopes to invest more than £3billion in nuclear power as part of plans to pump its burgeoning profits into propping up Britain’s dwindling energy supplies. Centrica chief executive Sam Laidlaw said the move would be part of a £1billion-a-year investment programme to develop new energy sources.
Daily Express 22nd Feb 2008 more >>
The minister says that new entrants to electricity supply will be increasingly important if the Government is to achieve its aim of fostering more localised energy production including “microgeneration” from small solar, wind and hydropower schemes. “As we develop new forms of supply let’s just make sure there are no unnecessary barriers to entry,” he says, adding that the Government is considering introduction of a German-style subsidy regime known as a “feed-in tariff” to encourage such projects.
Times 22nd Feb 2008 more >>
For the second time in recent weeks, Washington has given the U.N. nuclear watchdog information on what it says were Tehran’s attempts to make atomic weapons, but much of it is of doubtful value, diplomats said Thursday. The diplomats also told The Associated Press that, after handing over a large file last week to the International Atomic Energy Agency, the U.S. agreed to let the Iranians look at some of the material so they could respond, but Tehran has shown no interest.
Guardian website 21st Feb 2008 more >>