The Times – Nuclear energy

Paul Spence from EDF energy claims that his company have “never called for public subsidies to fund its plans ” (Letters July 19). Well maybe not publicly but the incestuous relationship that the utility companies have with Whitehall ensures that they can lobby perfectly well in private.
New plants are being underwritten by the tax-payer as HMG is guaranteeing the nuclear industry a minimum price going forward to 2030: This is effectively a massive PFI scheme. Add to that the cost of disposing of Britain’s current stock-pile of nuclear waste, which officially is over 100 billion pounds , and factor in that 80% of DECC’s budget now goes on decommissioning, and one begins to understand the extent to which the nuclear industry has been kept afloat by the tax-payer. The final insult is that HMG have acceded to the demand by EDF/Centrica that the Government underwrite the medical costs in the event of a nuclear accident in the UK. By all means let’s have a debate about nuclear as one possible solution to climate change, but with all the subsidies included.
Yours Sincerely

Dr Robin Russell-Jones MA FRCP FRCPath