U.K. Nuclear Cleanup Expenses May Top $370 Billion

Global Security Newswire Staff
June 25, 2014, 8:41 a.m.

The United King­dom may pay more than $370 bil­lion for atom­ic cleanup ef­forts ex­pec­ted to con­tin­ue bey­ond the year 2130, the Lon­don Tele­graph re­ports.

The fig­ure marked the up­per lim­it of a range of pos­sible re­medi­ation costs set on Monday in a yearly as­sess­ment by the Brit­ish Nuc­le­ar De­com­mis­sion­ing Au­thor­ity.

The ef­fort’s “es­tim­ated over­all life­time cost” now stands at $186.8 bil­lion, an $11.2 bil­lion in­crease over last year. The of­fice at­trib­uted the change in part to rising cost es­tim­ates for cleanup activ­it­ies at the Sel­lafield atom­ic en­ergy plant in Cum­bria.

“The NDA is re­quired by U.K. ac­count­ing stand­ards to provide a single fig­ure,” the doc­u­ment states. However, “even a small ad­just­ment for chan­ging con­fid­ence levels can add up to a sig­ni­fic­ant num­ber over a 100-plus year pro­gram.”

“When ad­ded to­geth­er, the con­sequence of us­ing ranges of es­tim­ates to re­flect un­cer­tainty is that po­ten­tial costs could, for the whole mis­sion, be some­where between [$149.6] bil­lion and [$370.2] bil­lion,” the agency said in its find­ings.

Sig­ni­fic­ant ques­tions over how to deal with nuc­le­ar waste per­sist in a num­ber of oth­er coun­tries, in­clud­ing the United States and Ja­pan.

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