Thursday, October 25, 2001

Claims in the weekend business press that BNFL was "on the Brink of Bankruptcy" have been denied by the state-owned company.

The Sunday Telegraph and Financial Times have both reported that BNFL is seeking to pass on 60 billion of nuclear "clean-up" liabilities to the taxpayer, to enable any future part privatisation of BNFL to proceed.

The media reports said: "The government has been in discussions with the company for months over its finances.''

But on Monday Media Relations manager at Sellafield, Alan Hughes said: "BNFL made a statement in its last annual report that it has enough cash to operate for at least the next 10 years. This statement still stands. Very few companies are in the fortunate position of being able to say this. Given the relationship of liabilities to net worth, the continuing scrutiny of nuclear liabilities and all other aspects of the balance sheet will be a fundamental feature of the management of BNFL going forward.'' "The idea of an agency being created by government to handle the UK's public sector nuclear liabilities is nothing new, indeed it was mentioned in a review of the UK Atomic Energy Authority published over a year ago.''