The amount of money needed for decommissioning Europe’s older nuclear power plants and managing its nuclear waste could reach €253bn ($288bn) by 2050, a new report from the European Commission has found.

The report released this week said this amount is more than twice the money that is currently available for the task.

Of the total amount, €120bn will be needed to decommission older reactors, while €130bn should be allotted to manage and dispose of spent fuel and radioactive waste.

According to the Commission, Europe’s member states currently have around €133bn available for these tasks.

Of the 129 nuclear reactors operating across 16 member states, around 90 per cent are expected to be shut down by 2050. The average age of these reactors is around 30 years.

Building new plants (planned or underway in 10 member states) and extending the lifetimes of older reactors will together cost an estimated €500bn.

Between now and 2050, the total investment that will be needed to maintain Europe’s nuclear generation capacity at 95 GWe-105 GWe was estimated at between €650 and €760 billion.

Green politicians and environmental groups called the report optimistic, saying it had downplayed the costs.