UNITED KINGDOM TAXPAYERS FACE SECRET £30 BILLION BILL FROM PRIVILEGED INDUSTRY
The UK nuclear industry has liabilities of nearly £42 billion, of which £30 billion are not covered by current financial provisions, according to an independent report from leading experts in nuclear economics, including an official Government advisor on nuclear affairs. The revelations will be a major blow to proposed Government spending plans which will now have to be revised downwards.
The report - 'Managing Nuclear Liabilities' - from the Science Policy Research Unit at Sussex University was written by Mike Sadnicki, an independent expert in the economics of the nuclear industry and Gordon MacKerron, currently chairman of the Energy Panel of the DTi/Office of Science and Technology Foresight Programme. It demonstrates that current financial provisions for decommissioning nuclear power stations, managing nuclear waste and dealing with plutonium stockpiles at BNFL, Sellafield, are hopelessly inadequate and that the taxpayer will be forced to cover the massive shortfall in funding.
Dr Patrick Green, Senior Nuclear Campaigner at Friends of the Earth which co-sponsored the research, said:
"The whole nation will be shocked that we are going to be mugged for £30 billion by an industry which should have been put down years ago. Taxpayers will have to bail out an industry that has already cost a fortune, ruined our natural environment and even contaminated our kids' teeth with plutonium."
The huge costs of dealing with the financial liabilities of the nuclear industry will cast a shadow over the Government's proposals for increased spending on education and health. The undisclosed liabilities of £30 billion will mean extra bills for taxpayers and a reduction in the availability of public funds for socially desirable projects. Past protestations by the nuclear industry that they have sufficient financial provision for their liabilities have now been fatally undermined.
Dr Patrick Green, commented: "The Government must tell us how many hospital beds and school teachers we are going to lose in order to prop up this atomic dinosaur. There must be urgent action - including an end to plutonium production and the rapid phasing out of Magnox power stations - to minimise the damage to our economy, our wallets and our environment."
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