Nuclear decommissioning £1 billion over budget and severely behind schedule
An official report published by Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has stated that the decommissioning of the Sellafield nuclear fuel reprocessing and decommissioning site is £1 billion over budget and severely behind schedule.
Sellafield is due to be decommissioned by 2120 at a cost of £121 billion. However, PAC’s report has called into question the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority’s long term strategy to do so, citing that the NDA has not reviewed why projects are plagued with problems.
Even more damning, the report has revealed that more than £500 million of taxpayers’ money has been wasted since 2012 on nuclear projects which have later been cancelled. This reckless and needless waste of money has prompted Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown, PAC deputy chairman, to conclude that the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy ‘needs to seriously get a grip on its oversight of nuclear decommissioning in this country’.
As well as this overspend, the UK government still does not have a permanent solution for the safe disposal of nuclear waste, with one option recently considered being to bury nuclear waste under UK national parks.
This latest report further highlights the unsuitability of nuclear power as a provider of the UK’s energy needs. As well as producing harmful waste which cannot easily be stored or disposed of, nuclear energy is expensive and costly to the UK taxpayer.
More Nuclear Woes
Belgium is facing a winter of blackouts and power cuts as six out of seven of its nuclear reactors are shut down. Residents will face a winter with a 40% reduction in the country’s power supply.
At the end of last month, it was revealed reactors at the Tihange plant had suffered ‘concrete degradation’, forcing their closure. This comes as reactors in Belgium’s second nuclear power plant are already closed for repairs.
Belgians are now subject to an emergency ‘load shedding’ plan in which homes across the country will have a three-hour blackout if demand exceeds the limited energy supply.