THE WHITEHAVEN NEWS

THE WHITEHAVEN NEWS



NUCLEAR INDUSTRY SEEKS NEW WASTE MANAGEMENT BODY

Thursday, November 22, 2001

The nuclear industry is lobbying hard for the taxpayer to fund a Liabilities Management Agency to take over BNFL's nuclear waste and decommissioning problems.

If created such a body could become a "Son of Nirex" as consultation starts on a possible return of plans for a Cumbrian nuclear waste dump.

The privatised company, British Energy, has threatened to take its future investment to the United States if the UK government does not help it and BNFL with its nuclear waste liabilities.

Last Thursday describing his "contingency plan" if the government decides against a lobbying for new nuclear reactors to be built, British Energy's executive chairman Robin Jeffrey said: "Our focus would be outside the UK. We'd continue to develop the company in North America.''

The British Energy half-yearly report and results also reveal continuing attempts to get nuclear reprocessing contracts with BNFL to be rewritten. In his annual statement the chairman Sir John Robbs says: "We have continued our discussions with BNFL, making it clear that we require substantial reductions in their charges to us for fuel and reprocessing.''

British Energy has urged the government to assume responsibility for the company's 3.4 billion of pre-privatisation decommissioning liabilities.