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Government finalises new nuclear waste framework

The Department for Energy and Climate Change has today set out statutory guidance for nuclear operators for establishing their funding for decommissioning plans.

Energy firms, such as EdF, must have a funded decommissioning plan in place prior to being granted permission to build a new nuclear power station. The guidance will enable nuclear operators to establish a clear plan to deal with decommissioning and radioactive waste management which must be approved by the secretary of state.

Guidance covers providing insolvency-proof funds for clean-up and a realistic, clearly-defined and achievable plan for the decommissioning of a nuclear site after its use. The funds for clean-up must be administered independently of the operator and the government.

“Nuclear operators will have to prove they have a credible plan for funding the decommissioning and safe management of their radioactive waste,” said energy secretary Charles Hendry. “This is the best way to protect taxpayers from having to pick up the bill.”

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