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Rising financial problems face nuclear industry in UK

Full insurance cover for the consequences of nuclear accidents is generally impossible to obtain because of the potential liabilities. The government said it might be prepared to provide reinsurance under these circumstances.

Nuclear clean-up costs face big rise, FT.com / UK , By David Blair,   January 24 2011 Companies operating nuclear power stations in Britain could be liable for clean-up costs of up to €1.2bn (£1.01bn) in the event of an accident – a seven-fold increase on the present maximum.

Chris Huhne, the energy and climate change secretary, proposed on Monday to raise the liability ceiling per nuclear site from £140m. This had been expected to increase to £588m, in line with amendments to the Paris and Brussels conventions on nuclear third-party liability.
But Mr Huhne’s proposals would set the limit 71 per cent above that level. The energy secretary also wants to expand the categories of damage for which operators would be liable if a civil nuclear accident were to occur in Britain. This would include harm to the environment itself, while the geographical scope for individuals eligible to claim compensation would also be widened……..

The department of energy and climate change now spends half its budget on the decommissioning and clean-up costs associated with Britain’s oldest nuclear power stations, originally built in the 1950s……

The consultation on Mr Huhne’s proposal will run until April 28. If his decision goes ahead without amendment, the maximum liability will be raised first to £588m and then by £84m annually over five years.

Full insurance cover for the consequences of nuclear accidents is generally impossible to obtain because of the potential liabilities. The government said it might be prepared to provide reinsurance under these circumstances.

FT.com / UK / Politics & policy – Nuclear clean-up costs face big rise

January 27, 2011 - Posted by | business and costs, UK

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