Mon Feb 4, 2013 10:5AM
The British government has so far spent a whopping £67.5 billion to clean up “hazardous nuclear waste” in “outdated facilities” with little efficiency while the clean-up costs are still rising. The House of Commons’ Public Accounts Committee said in a report that the clean-up process in the Sellafield nuclear waste treatment site in Cumbria is already over budget with several deadlines missed. The report further highlighted the inefficiency of Sellafield and the government’s failure to tackle the piled up nuclear waste stored there. Meanwhile, Cumbria County Council refused to authorize a new underground nuclear waste storage facility in the area last week. "Over decades, successive governments have failed to get to grips with this critical problem, to the point where the total lifetime cost of decommissioning the site has now reached £67.5 billion, and there's no indication of when that cost will stop rising," chair of the committee Margaret Hodge said. "Furthermore, now that Cumbria County Council has ruled out West Cumbria as the site of the proposed geological disposal facility, a solution to the problem of long-term storage of the waste is as far away as ever,” she added. The committee also warned that 12 of the total 14 ongoing projects at Sellafield are behind schedule while five of them are over budget. It added despite the situation at Sellafield, the government is still paying the private companies, running the plant, generously. The report said top executives at the plant have been paid “huge salaries” of an average £690,000 and up to £1.2 million raising concerns that the government is paying them a “reward for failure”. The government is currently spending a handsome £1.5 billion of the taxpayer money a year on the plant. AMR/HE