UK Govt Says Taxpayers Will Foot Excess Bill for Waste Storage at New Nuke Plant, Docs Reveal

The U.K. government agreed to limit what the operator and investors of the newly approved, controversial Hinkley Point C nuclear power plant would have to pay for radioactive waste storage, pushing the rest onto taxpayers, government documents reveal.

The government approved the plant, which will be operated by state-controlled French energy firm, EDF, with financial backing from China, last month.

In its reporting on Sunday, the Observer wrote that one document said there would be a “cap on the liability of the operator of the nuclear power station which would apply in a worst-case scenario.”

“The U.K. government accepts that, in setting a cap, the residual risk, of the very worst-case scenarios where actual cost might exceed the cap, is being borne by the government,” it stated.

The British paper adds: “Separate documents confirm that the cap also applies should the cost of decommissioning the reactor at the end of its life balloon.”

The amount of the cap is unknown, the Observer reported.