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[cdn-nucl-l] Rebranding of the nuclear industry could be the first step to privatisation in the UK
Posted in the Scotsman on July 5, 2002 and at:
Rebranding of the nuclear industry could be the first step to
BRITAINíS nuclear industry is to be rebranded as part of a major
overhaul, announced by the government yesterday, which could pave the
way for a new generation of nuclear power plants.
Under plans unveiled by Brian Wilson, the energy minister,
responsibility for cleaning up Britainís nuclear waste, at a cost of £48
billion, will be transferred from British Nuclear Fuels Ltd (BNFL) and
the UK Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA) to a new organisation called the
Liabilities Management Authority (LMA).
The changes would also see BNFL, a company widely distrusted by the
public, renamed as New BNFL, effectively preparing it for
Environmental groups claimed the remodelled BNFL, no longer burdened by
the loss-making business of decommissioning and decontamination, was
being groomed to take forward a programme of new nuclear reactors.
As if to confirm their fears, a leaked report acquired by the New
Scientist magazine revealed that the Department of Trade and Industry
was considering speeding up the licensing procedure for new nuclear
power stations. Officials want to avoid the planning and safety wrangles
which delayed the building of the last nuclear power station in Britain,
at Sizewell, Suffolk, in 1995, by 15 years.
Unveiling the White Paper, Managing the Nuclear Legacy, Mr Wilson said
that cleaning up the legacy of Britainís early nuclear industry was "one
of the most important and demanding managerial, technical and
environmental challenges facing the UK over the next century".
The £48 billion cost - up by £6 billion from the previous estimate last
November - of the decades-long programme would be met by the LMA and
funded by the taxpayer.