Controversial plans to bankroll a nuclear waste disposal programme through
taxes, at a possible cost £20bn, have been unveiled by the government.
David Miliband told the
Commons that the debate over financing the operation would be ‘difficult and
Government figures estimate the project will cost in the region of
£10bn-£20bn, but doubts were raised by opposition members over speculations
of an alternative funding scheme.
Planners of this alternative scheme rested their hopes on private operators
building new nuclear reactors in the near future and contributing to the
project’s biggest costs, which centre on disposal and the construction of bunker
The eventual disposal programme will be overseen by the
Decommissioning Authority (NDA), which also owns nuclear facilities, a fact
that has led shadow environment minister
Peter Ainsworth to voice concerns
regarding a possible conflict of interest.
The NDA defended the government’s tax-funded scheme, believing the costs
would span the lifetime of the project and the bill would be paid over more than
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