EU approves UK pricing methodology for nuclear waste transfer contracts

11 October 2015 (Last Updated October 11th, 2015 18:30)

UK has won EU regulatory approval for a pricing methodology for nuclear waste transfer contracts.

UK has won EU regulatory approval for a pricing methodology for nuclear waste transfer contracts.

The new methodology aims to ensure that nuclear power operators bear the cost of disposal, and not taxpayers.

Proposed pricing methodology will ensure that plant operators will pay for all costs linked to the disposal of the spent fuel and nuclear waste.

The new scheme is expected to establish a waste transfer price reflecting the actual disposal costs, which will be determined only when most of the currently unknown cost factors of the disposal facility become clear.

"The price methodology will act as an appropriate risk premium to reflect potential cost increases after it has been set."

Additionally, the price methodology will act as an appropriate risk premium to reflect potential cost increases after it has been set.

The pricing methodology involves no state aid, and each member country is free to determine its own energy mix.

Until the final price is established, nuclear power operators will be periodically updated on expected costs.

The European Commission will ensure that when public funds are used to support companies, this is carried out in-line with EU state aid rules. The methodology is expected to provide some visibility of future liabilities in order to secure investors and financing.

The UK plans to build a geological facility for the disposal of spent fuel and intermediate level waste from existing and new nuclear power stations in the UK, which is expected to be operational by 2040.

However, disposal of spent fuel is expected to commence only around 2075 and extend until 2140.