UK treasury responds to EU Commission criticisms on nuclear plan

The UK treasury has responded to critical European Commission remarks related to the costing of the Hinkley Point C nuclear power project.

The commission had inferred that the Treasury, led by George Osborne, had failed to reveal all of the costs associated with the nuclear power project, specifically focusing on the costs of decommissioning.

In the commission’s minutes from 8th October is an admission that there was “regret, expressed by some, that all the long-term costs for the British Treasury had not been integrated into the calculation of the cost of the project, for instance the cost of storing the nuclear waste or of dismantling the plant at the end of its lifetime”.

This meeting involved 22 members of the commission, led by the president, Jose Manuel Barroso, and including the vice-president, Baroness Ashton, from the UK.

However the Treasury has retorted that this is a flawed version of events.

A Treasury spokesman said: “With respect to the decommissioning and storage costs the situation is that [EDF subsidiary] NNBG are responsible for these long-term costs (through their investment in a Funded Decommissioning Plan), and these costs are all included in the agreed strike price. It is a pity that the minutes do not reflect this.”

“As well as being responsible for their costs in cleaning up of the site, NNBG will pay HM Government for the radioactive waste transferred to HM Government for long-term storage.”

The commission approved the construction of Hinkley Point C on the Somerset coast earlier this month following a state aid investigation.

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