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Hinkley nuclear power plan, and the costs of its radioactive wastes

NuClear News  No 86 July 2016,  “…….Hinkley Waste Costs A furious row has broken out after the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) refused to disclose the arrangement with EDF for dealing with radioactive waste at the planned Hinkley Point C nuclear plant. The information commissioner’s office has turned down a freedom of information (FoI) request for state aid arrangements between the UK and the European commission to be made public.
The FoI complainant, David Lowry, has launched an appeal, claiming it is in the public interest for British citizens to be able to judge whether their government had made the right decision about the new reactors in Somerset. Lowry, a British-based senior research fellow with the Institute for Resource and Security Studies in the US, said: “I do not believe the balance of judgment should be in favour of a foreign company, EDF Energy, who will potentially make huge multibillion-pound financial gain from the continued non-disclosure, and hence non scrutiny, over myself as a British tax and electricity bill payer.” (1)
Under the new arrangements, operators of new reactors must ensure that sufficient funds are available to avoid waste management costs being borne by the tax payer. To achieve this, the government will enter into a Waste Transfer Contract (WTC) with the prospective nuclear operator regarding the terms on which the government will take title to and liability for the operator’s spent fuel and intermediate level waste (ILW) for disposal in a geological disposal facility (GDF) once the plant has been decommissioned. The method by which the price is set for the provision of this disposal service is known as the Waste Transfer Pricing Methodology
The WTCs like the one covering Hinkley, must be submitted for scrutiny by the EC under its state aid rules. It is the Waste Transfer Pricing Methodology of the WTC that Lowry wished to review and which remains under wraps. (2)
This is the second time in less than a year that the Information Commissioner has adjudicated in favour of keeping secret documents dealing with Hinkley C nuclear plant costings.

June 29, 2016 - Posted by | UK, wastes

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