Taxpayers spend £1.5bn per year on Sellafield, says Public Accounts Committee
February 4, 2013 7:25 AM GMT
Britain’s nuclear waste dumping programme not effective, says PAC
Britain has spent several billions to clean the toxic waste at Sellafield nuclear plant and the decommissioning costs at the site are set to rise, according to a report by MPs.
The Public Accounts Committee’s (PAC) report on Nuclear Decommissioning Authority revealed that the expenses to remove the hazardous radioactive waste have so far reached £67.5bn ($106bn, €77.8bn). Taxpayers are now spending £1.5bn per year on Sellafield.
The spending watchdog added that the deadlines to clean the Cumbria site had been missed, and the country’s crucial decommissioning projects are over budget at present.
“Over decades, successive governments have failed to get to grips with this critical problem, to the point where the total lifetime cost of decommissioning the site has now reached £67.5 billion, and there’s no indication of when that cost will stop rising,” said Margaret Hodge MP, Chair of the PAC.
“It is unclear how long it will take to deal with hazardous radioactive waste at Sellafield or how much it will cost the taxpayer. Of the 14 current major projects, 12 were behind schedule in the last year and five of those were over budget.”
Earlier, Cumbria County Council refused a proposal to drill a deep underground repository to dump high-level waste in the Lake District, throwing the country’s nuclear waste programme into uncertainty. This along with the new findings questions the effectiveness of the government’s strategy to solve the nuclear waste problem, the report said.