Your correspondent is in error on the matter of who will bear the cost of the early closure of the Sellafield MOX plant (“U.K. MOX plant closure to cost utilities billions,” Oct. 19).
I suspect he or she has been confused by differing arrangements for new-build electricity generating plants, and fuel-related facilities such as Sellafield, Springfields and others.
It is indeed the case that a decommissioning fund for new plant (and electricity generating plant sold into private ownership) will be funded by a levy on electricity sales.
This is not the case, however, for older plant, and for facilities owned by British Nuclear Fuels and its successor companies. As these are, and always have been state-owned, the decommissioning liabilities fall to the British government.
The costs of the decision to close the MOX plant — itself mainly a result of anticipated contract cancellations by Japanese utilities in the aftermath of Fukushima — will thus ultimately be paid by British taxpayers.
The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.
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