The cost of cleaning up old nuclear power stations in the UK is predicted to jump by £6.6 billion, a 7% rise on previous forecasts, operators confessed this week.
Trying to stem criticism in their annual report, Chairman of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority Stephen Henward referred to the “technically challenging, novel plants and processes to treat wastes of uncertain characteristics” over very long timescales.
This means cost estimates “contain very considerable uncertainties”, he said.
Meanwhile Chief Executive John Clarke admitted performance in the working nuclear waste processing plants at Sellafield (pictured) “continues to be below that we would wish to see with all throughput targets being missed”.
Anti-nuclear campaigners at the Nuclear Free Local Authorities (NFLA) seized on the news to call for new nuclear projects to be reconsidered.
NFLA Chair, Councillor Mark Hackett said: “Perhaps it is time to review the NDA’s structure, as can the public finances really continue to be able to cope with such large cost increases?”