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[cdn-nucl-l] BNFL to cease donations to US political parties
Posted in the UK Independent on July 17, 2002 and at:
No mention at all that BNFL's Westinghouse has big hopes to sell 10
reactors to Britian in the coming years... I hope AECL doesn't fall into
the trap of US political donations.
BNFL to cease donations to US political parties
By Michael Harrison
17 July 2002
British Nuclear Fuels, the state-owned reprocessing company, yesterday
announced that it was banning any further financial donations to US
The announcement followed the revelation that BNFL has paid $300,000
(£193,000) to Republican and Democrat groups in the past four years
including £109,000 in the financial year just gone.
Some of the donations, channelled through the company's North American
subsidiaries, were made without the knowledge of Norman Askew, BNFL's
Hugh Collum, the chairman, said: "These payments should not have been
made and they will not be made in the future."
The ban on further financial donations came as BNFL confirmed it made a
£2.3bn pre-tax loss last year after a huge increase in its liabilities
for decommissioning its nuclear facilities.
BNFL has taken a £1.935bn charge to cover an increase in its historic
liabilities and a £375m charge to cover the early closure of its Calder
Hall and Chapelcross Magnox reactors.
Despite the huge loss, the biggest in BNFL's history, Mr Askew said the
underlying profitability of the group had improved markedly. Profits
from operations before exceptional items were £22m compared with a £210m
loss in 2000-01.
Mr Collum said he welcomed the Government's go-ahead for a new
Liabilities Management Agency (LMA), which will take BNFL's £40.5bn in
liabilities onto its books, paving the way for the part-privatisation of
BNFL's commercial activities.
But he conceded the partial flotation of the business would not now take
place until after the next election in 2006 at the earliest.
Privately, BNFL executives believe that Nirex, the body set up to find a
new deep underground depository should be brought under the umbrella of
the LMA. Presently Nirex is 75 per cent owned by BNFL with the remainder
held by British Energy and the UK Atomic Energy Authority.
Mr Collum said that nuclear power was now "firmly back on the agenda"
but he conceded that a new generation of nuclear reactors would not be
built until government had decided what to do with the waste produced by
the current generation.
Mr Askew said the UK could take a leaf out of America's book where
Congress had agreed to construct a long-term storage facility for spent
fuel at Yucca Mountain in Nevada, paving the way for new nuclear
All four of BNFL's divisions contributed to the turnaround last year.
The fuel manufacturing and services division, which consists principally
of Westinghouse, increased profits from £52m to £78m while its nuclear
decommissioning and cleanup division turned a £66m loss into a £27m
profit. The Sellafield spent fuel business increased operating profits
from £3m to £32m while losses from the Magnox electricity generation
division fell from £191m to £115m.