£70 billion nuclear clean up bill 'set to rise' as government admit 'considerable uncertainty still remains in relation to the cost of decommissioning and clean up.'
The Commons Trade and Industry Committee today expressed concern about continued uncertainty over the taxpayers' bill for the disposal of civil nuclear operations.
Green Party Principal Speaker Keith Taylor commented: "This comes only 4 years after a £24 billion price rise in 2002! Costs are continuing to spiral, but the government still insists nucelar power is the way forward.
" The industry won't invest in new build without taxpayers underwriting risks.
"Tony blair is prevaricating by saying that the market will deliver solutions, it won't."
The cross-party select committee said it expected the figure to continue to rise as a result of further investigations into storage facilities at Sellafield and Dounreay. The apparent reluctance of the nuclear industry to continue reprocessing spent fuel - because it is more expensive than buying new uranium - would also contribute growing costs.
Keith Taylor concluded: "A mixture of energy efficiency measures leading to a reduction in need, combined with an emphasis on renewables technology could together bring down our carbon emissions, so ameliorating climate change, whilst also putting an end to our reliance on expensive and difficultly sourced fossil fuels.
"All this would be in a clearly costed economic framework, rather than one of hidden subsidisation and out of control costs."