Response to "Consultation on a methodology for determining a Fixed Unit Price for waste disposal and updated cost estimates for nuclear decommissioning, waste management and waste disposal", March 2010This consultation is based on the false premise that the Government and taxpayers should shoulder some of the costs and risks associated with the disposal of intermediate-level nuclear waste.
This is not acceptable. The operators of nuclear plants should be required to pay the full commercial cost of disposing of nuclear waste and should be required to insure fully against any uncertainties about the future cost of disposal.
If commercial insurance companies are unwilling to provide such insurance, then independent actuarial experts should be employed to calculate the appropriate premium and that premium (or annual installments thereof) should be paid to the Government as insurer of last resort.
Unless nuclear operators are required to take on the full commercial cost and the commercial risk of disposal of nuclear waste, they will be in receipt of a subsidy from taxpayers.
For any new nuclear power stations that may be built in the UK, any such subsidy would be a breach of the Government's commitment that any new nuclear power stations should "receive no public subsidy" ("The Coalition: our programme for government", page 17).
A copy of the response form, with answers to questions, is in the attached files in DOC and PDF formats.
Dr Gerry Wolff PhD CEng