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British MP’s continue to botch in the ever more costly saga of Britain’s “old” nukes and “new” nukes

Times 27th Nov 2020, The NDA doesn’t really know because, as it told MPs, it “still does not have full understanding of the condition of the 17 sites”. It’s a point it proved with the meltdown of the £3.8 billion Magnox clean-up contract wrongly awarded to the Cavendish Fluor Partnership in 2014. That fiasco saw a High Court judge rule that the losing bidder, Energy Solutions and its partner, Bechtel, should have won the 14-year contract to bring the plants to a state of “care and maintenance”. The upshot? The government terminated the contract at a cost to the taxpayer of £142 million.

And now it’s back in the hands of the NDA, which is telling MPs that even that bit of work will now cost up to £8.7 billion and take another “12 to 15 years”. As the committee notes: “Past experience with the NDA suggests even these estimates will soon be out of date and costs may increase further”.

Isn’t that the story of everything to do with nuclear? True, you’d expect new-build plants to be better managed than Magnox and less
tricky to decommission than the Sellafield complex. The NDA also rejects the committee’s “suggestions that we may not understand the safety of our sites”. And the taxpayer-fleecing cost of the electricity coming from the £22.5 billion Hinkley Point C is meant to cover the clean-up bill.

Yet before Boris presses the go button on more nukes, including Rolls-Royce’s modular type, shouldn’t there be a debate about the waste? The government’s big idea is to bribe some local authority into housing a nice toxic dump, prettily dressed up as a “geological disposal facility”. Copeland in Cumbria is the closest to volunteering. But a deal is a long way off and the plan’s been vetoed before by Cumbria county council.

November 28, 2020 - Posted by | business and costs, politics, UK, wastes

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